By: Caitlin Hoffman
Rap’s hit and miss for me. It’s hard to relate to a musician when they can’t film a music video without exploiting a woman’s ass. Yet, even observing from outside the scene, I sense an evolution. Seems hip hop artists are relying less and less on hackneyed formulas, and exerting their energies on what matters: the fucking music.
Vision The Kid is evidence of this. Voted best local Minneapolis rapper by Vita.mn, he’s now teamed up with acclaimed producer Tru.
I listened to Somewhere In A Dark City (2014) from beginning to end, and felt I was transported into a dark urban opera.
It starts with a sundering stream of spoken word. Vision The Kid’s lips make tremendous movement, with or without a mix. All tracks following ride a hard rush: heavy, throttling.
This is music; this is talent. Lush, creamy, lines that crush n’ slice, with enough varied tone to keep me piqued (quite a feat- I lose interest quickly).
The lyrics are aware, observational, unblinking, and emotionally attuned. Somewhat predictably, my favourite bits would be any of the tracks with dark, sharp, poetic prominence: All Goes Away (ft. Lizzie Fontaine), Somewhere In A Dark City (the title track, obviously), and The Streets at Night, the spoken-word intro that had me hooked. (Fyi: there are two other spoken word tracks on the album -an interlude and outro- and they’re awesome.)
I especially like how clearly this is a duo effort. Though Tru may not strictly “perform”, he’s with Vision The Kid at every step. Together, they walk strong.
All in all I deem this a complicated, mature release, lending a lot of intelligence to an otherwise visceral art.