This album was released on May 24th this year. I first became familiar with Chris Orrick when he was working in his group Ugly Heroes alongside Verbal Kent & Apollo Brown. That was back when his stage name was Red Pill. He changed it to his government name a few years ago because apparently there’s some alt-right or misogynistic campaign called the Red Pill Movement. Oh. I just looked it up. It’s a “men’s rights” movement. I swear, every day I’m exposed to a new level of idiocy via the internet. Anyway, he definitely did the right thing by distancing himself from that group. I didn’t actually know Chris Orrick was the same person as Red Pill until last year when he released his Portraits album though. Portraits is my favorite project from him so far, so I’m really looking forward to this one. Hopefully he’s able to surpass it here. The only project he’s ever released that I haven’t really liked that much is Instinctive Drowning, but it still had a good amount of songs that I liked. Actually, I guess the self titled EP from Ugly Heroes is technically my favorite project that Chris Orrick has ever been involved in. Portraits is my favorite solo project from him though. So yeah, I definitely consider myself a fan, and I think I’m really gonna enjoy this even though I haven’t seen many people talking about it. Hopefully if I enjoy this enough it’ll convince more people to check it out. It’s also only half an hour long, so if I somehow end up hating it I won’t have to suffer through it for too long.
1. Out to Sea produced by S I M
I’m not really sure where the intro for this song is taken from. There’s unfortunately no information about it on Genius. It sounds like this comedian bombed really bad on stage and he’s crying, and he’s thanking the audience for crushing his dreams or something. That’s probably not actually what’s going on, but that’s what it sounded like to me. Anyway, the actual beat on this track from S I M is really smooth and jazzy. It sounds like something I’d hear in that Substantial Sundays playlist. It’s pretty good. The first verse was cool too. He’s describing sailing in the middle of the ocean by himself. I’m pretty sure it’s a metaphor for not following trends and being himself.
I let the stars above become my guide, enjoy the ride
I got my fishing rod, the wish of god is by my side
I got a compass, I have studied all the shifting tides
I got a notebook and the thoughts of mine that live inside
Well, “pretty sure” is a bit overconfident. There’s a good chance of my interpretation being wrong. That’s what I got from it though. The first verse was nice. The hook is super simplistic, but it serves its purpose I suppose. The second verse was dope. The final quatrain kinda reads like a poetic suicide letter. I’m sure that’s not what he meant though.
I put my eyes to rest tonight and listen to the waves
Red sky in the morning and I won’t be saved
As the hurricane approaches, I have found some peace
This will be my final letter while I’m out to sea
Overall I enjoyed the song. Nothing about it really stands out enough for the song to blow me away, but I don’t have any real issues with it. Maybe a more interesting hook could’ve made the song more memorable, but it’s fine as it is. This track is dope to me.
2. Funny Things produced by S I M
Hmm… I feel like I may have heard this song at some point. It was released as a single ahead of the album’s release, so it’s possible. The production is pretty chill. The first verse is cool. I generally don’t really like when rappers repeat the same word over and over again throughout a verse, but it wasn’t too bad here I guess. The lyrics got very political during the second half of the verse.
Don’t forget about the funny guns
We give to funny men who think it’s funny watching children run
And other funny men go on their funny little shows
And think it’s funny that the way to fix it won’t ever be known
Pretty dope stuff. I’m just not really crazy about this production style. It’s certainly not bad, but it doesn’t really pull me in. It’s fine though. The hook started off very simplistic, but the second part of it is actually really dope. It’s like he’s rapping from the perspective of someone living in the past who’s given a glimpse into current-day politics and is convinced it’s just a joke and that he’s being fucked with.
I find it all hilarious, absolutely nothing going on could be nefarious
It’s all so very comical, don’t believe your eyes, guys; none of this is possible
It’s worthy of some knee-slapping, only question that I have is…
Why aren’t you laughing?
It’s actually really depressing to be honest. The second verse was nice. He had some words for the aforementioned red pillers. He also referenced climate change and casual racism. I like the song a lot lyrically. I’m not crazy about the production, but it’s not bad. This is another good song. I fuck with it. It’s dope.
3. Liquor Store Hustle produced by Man @ Work
I’m not really crazy about the beat on this track, but it’s fine I guess. The beats on this project have been disappointing so far to be honest. They aren’t trash beats, but they aren’t really that memorable to me personally. Lyrically, this song is a narrative about driving while drunk to a liquor store to get more alcohol. If you’re familiar with Chris Orrick, you’re probably aware that he’s an alcoholic. It’s kind of concerning, but I guess if it was really that much of an issue it’d be a more well known thing. It doesn’t seem like it’s preventing him from functioning as an artist. This whole song is pretty much just him rapping about day drinking. It’s not exactly a relatable song for me. It’s a cool track though. I don’t like it quite as much as the previous couple of songs, but I enjoyed it overall. It’s pretty good.
4. Spent a Lot of Time produced by Man @ Work
The jazzy production on this track is actually fantastic. This is easily the best beat on the whole album so far. I love it. The first verse from Chris was nice, and I think the hook is actually pretty good too. He’s rapping about spending time writing music. It’s pretty good stuff. The first verse was definitely my favorite part of the song, but the second and third verses are pretty good too. I just wish the third verse was a bit more… Umm… I don’t know. I guess I just wish it was longer. It almost felt more like a bridge than a verse. With that said, I still think this is probably the best song on the album so far. It’s definitely got my favorite instrumental. I fuck with this song a lot. I don’t think it quite reaches the “dope af” level on my scale of enjoyability, but, as I said, I like it more than anything else on the album so far. It’s very dope.
5. A Dying Man produced by Charlie Beans
Damn. This song has another really great jazzy beat. It sounds like it could be an instrumental for an R&B or Soul song. It’s gorgeous. Okay, maybe this is my favorite beat so far. It’s definitely between this one and the previous one. This is probably the most interesting song on the album so far lyrically too. The way he starts off the first verse is really cool.
Let me put the pieces of myself that I don’t need
In a closet with a lock, let you take away the key
Let it be, let it wallow, never let me look inside
Tell me later if I ask that those pieces of me died
This is definitely the most somber song on the album. I love it. The instrumental embellishments that come in during the hook sound fantastic. This shit is fire. Overall, it’s definitely my favorite track on the album so far. Not only is the instrumental great, but the song is also really well written and lyrically interesting. This shit is dope af.
6. America Online produced by Suhki Beats
This song has a pretty great beat too. I’m glad I’ve been enjoying these last few beats because the album started off kinda slow in terms of production. As anyone could’ve guessed from the title of this track, he’s rapping about the way people act on the internet. I feel like he’s trying to mock people on social media. The first verse was pretty cool. I liked the second one more though. Just like with the previous track, the instrumental embellishments that come in during the hook sound really good. I enjoyed this track quite a bit, but it’s not as fantastic as the previous one in my opinion. I do like it a lot though. It’s dope.
7. Wallow Hard produced by Nolan the Ninja
I’m glad Nolan has two placements on this album. He provided some of my favorite beats on Chris Orrick’s previous album, including my favorite track. This beat is pretty great. It’s not amazing or anything, but I definitely like it a lot. Chris Orrick is rapping about how critics have said that he “wallow[s] too hard” in the past. That’s kinda weird to me. The main reason I even like Chris Orrick is that he’s so personal and open about his issues and life. He’s a lot like Slug in that regard. Anyway, this is another one of my favorite tracks on the album so far. It’s got a very simplistic structure, which works well with the stream of consciousness style of rapping. It’s just one long introspective verse. I love it. This track is dope af.
8. Daylight produced by Alcapella & Ill Poetic
The production on this track is pretty great. The beat is really smooth and kinda heavy, and the percussion is really dusty and hard hitting. Once again, the instrumental embellishments that come in during the hook sound fantastic. This is another one of the best beats on the album so far. I think it’s dope af. The first verse from Chris is pretty nice, but the production is definitely the element of the song that stands out the most to me. It’s really an awesome beat. The hook is nothing special, but it serves its purpose. I really enjoyed this song a lot. It’s definitely one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. All of the verses were good, and as I’ve already said, the production is stellar. This is dope af.
9. Flesh & Bone produced by Nolan the Ninja
This song has yet another fantastic beat. I like this one a lot more than the previous Nolan the Ninja beat. Not that the previous one was bad. It was a great beat. This one is just far better in my opinion. I love how hard hitting the percussion is on this track. Chris Orrick rapped his ass off on this track too. I really don’t have a single gripe with this song. The way he was flowing on this track was really cool. It was kinda like an altered version of that triplet flow that’s been popularized this decade. The hook is pretty cool too. This is actually my favorite track on the whole album. I love the production and the way Chris rapped over it. This shit is dope af to me.