Album Review | Darko the Super – There’s a Horse in the Hospital

This album was released on November 6th this year. This is the third album that I’ve covered from Darko the Super in 2020. The first project I ever heard from him was The Devil Defeated with Steel Tipped Dove. I liked that album a lot, but I thought the following record, Nevermind, was even better. I was pretty excited to check this new record out too, especially since it has one of the best album covers I’ve seen all year. Shoutout to Spook Novel for that. The one single that I heard prior to listening to the full album was fantastic too, so I went into it pretty optimistically. I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be one of the best albums of the year, but I knew there was a decent chance of it being even better than The Devil Defeated & Nevermind. The entire album is self-produced. I don’t know if I’d heard much of Darko’s production before hearing this project, so that had me pretty curious too.

There aren’t any tracks from this album that I don’t like, so I’ll write about the whole thing in the proper order of the tracklisting. The intro is called Just Don’t Kill Me, and it features Height Keech. The first thing that immediately stood out to me was the spectacular production. The track isn’t really much of a song; it’s just an intro in which Height Keech kinda prepares us for the rest of the project. He’s like the host introducing us to the rest of the album. I guess he’s supposed to be playing the role of a doctor.

Awwww yeah
It ain’t Mr. Ed neither, baby
Come give me my sponge bath
It’s time for the percolators
Nurse, hand me my robe
The ruler’s back

I really love the music in the background. I think it’s a great intro. The first actual song is entitled Sneaking Out the Hospital.

Again, the production here from Darko is really cool to me. It’s kinda jazzy, and I can imagine it being in the soundtrack to a spy movie. I guess it fits well with the stealth-related content of the song. The short, introductory verse is pretty cool.

The surgeons are bewildered, the nurses are confused
The patients are delighted, doctors don’t know what to do
It’s a medical mystery, a rare time in history
There’s a horse in the hospital, and it’s time to sneak him out

I feel like Darko’s whimsical vocal delivery is probably an acquired taste, but I’m finding myself loving it more and more as I continue to familiarize myself with his work. Anyway, once the beat drops and the song kinda gets going, the production gets more eccentric. Darko’s verses at this point have a filter that makes it sound like he’s rapping through a megaphone. I’m not exactly sure what the horse is supposed to represent on this album, but there are a lot of dark and political undertones, which I appreciated.

I shot the fascist with a poison dart
Blew it out a straw straight to his heart
Played out like a work of art
They tried to feed me to the sharks
The marks, the Penelope’s
Got me on camera and you could tell it’s me
You see the predicament
My future looking excrement

Both of the verses on this track are really cool. The hook is very straightforward, but it works well. I think the song is dope. Also, shoutout to Vincent Thomas Short for directing that music video. It’s really cool. The following track is called Here Comes the Dark, and it’s even better in my opinion. The loud, chaotic, outlandish production here is fucking awesome. I feel like MF DOOM would’ve sounded perfect over this in his prime. It definitely sounds like something out of a superhero movie or something like that. The first verse is pretty nice, and I love the weird vocals on the hook. The second verse is even better than the first one in my opinion.

Pizza in the EZ bake, nightmares and flashbacks
See me in the goalie mask no longer holding onto the past
It’s the face we hide
Suicide couldn’t swallow my pride
I’m just along for the ride
Life is like a box, a cubicle
The feelings weren’t mutual

The final verse is performed by Spoken Nerd. I first became familiar with him a year or two ago when he released a project on Fake Four Inc. called I Need a Friend Like You. Anyway, he really killed that third verse. I think his feature here is fantastic.

My suit don't fit, my belt is uncomfortable
My belly stay swole, so my shirt is untuckable
But when the lights get low, and the people don't know
And the countdown begins, and I'm told to breathe slow
I close my eyes and rest like I've never been to sleep before
Dream about the places that I've never been, but need to go

He spazzed here. I think the song is dope as hell. It’s followed by a major highlight entitled Greasy September (For the Young Lovers), which I covered earlier in the year when it initially dropped as a single.

If I’m not mistaken, this is the lead single from There’s a Horse in the Hospital, which is the next album from Darko the Super. I’m not exactly sure when the album is supposed to drop, but it’s got arguably the best album cover I’ve seen this year, so that alone has me super excited. The song is awesome too. I fucking love how weird this shit is. First of all, Darko‘s production on this song is amazing. I love this sample he flipped. It sounds like one of those old school Doo Wop love songs. It sounds like it was influenced by the same sound that PSYPIRITUAL harnessed for the closing song of his album with The Lasso. I love how weird Darko’s flow is on this shit too. The way he flows makes no sense, but it somehow works. This quatrain right here reminded me of how lonely I am…

Even though the world’s ugly
I got a girl to love me
And I love her too, maybe even more
Together we could never be bored

I love how happy this song sounds though. This shit definitely belongs on my happy playlist, even if some of the lyrics are kinda dark.

There’s a turd in the punch bowl
And I ain’t a Huxtable, raised on Uncrustables
I’m unemployed
Finding things hard to enjoy
They’re drunk on fear
Homegirl sunk in her tears
From the big Apple to the city of angles
Our love was strangled, hurt and mangled

I think the song is awesome, and I can’t wait to hear the full project. Again, there’s no word on an official release date just yet, but I’m gonna be all over that shit when it drops. Check this one out and let me know what you think.

The following track is called High 5. All of the rapping on this one is performed by Pyramid Vritra. I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of Vritra’s solo work, but I’ve heard him on features since he used to be affiliated with Odd Future. His voice kinda reminds me of Quasimoto here. I can’t really tell if that’s his natural voice or if it’s been edited with a filter. I think it sounds awesome though. This track also has one of the prettiest beats on the album. It make me feel like I’m blasting through space like a shooting star. The rapping from Vritra here is pretty cool, although his kinda moany, smooth, Mac Miller-esque voice feels like it gets buried under the beat at times.

Foundation found knowledge, found life, and found death
Found truth, then found lye, really high, get the high 5

This song sounds like what I imagine a Quasimoto and FlyLo collab would be like. I think it’s dope as hell. It’s followed by People Are Weird When You’re a Weirdo. The first verse is performed by Harvey Cliff MC. I was a fan of his Strangers on a Train album from 2018, but his performance here still ended up exceeding my expectations. I was trying to figure out who he reminded me of, and at first I was thinking of Zombie Juice, but then I realized he sounds a lot more like Psychosiz here. He killed this shit too. He honestly sounds even weirder than Darko on this song.

I didn't kill him, you shittin' me?
I just put a hole in him, and he leaked out, and quit on me
That's a living definition of a frienemy
Friend 'til the end, child's play; you're kidding me
There ain't no kid in me, he's been dunzo
He's watching porno now starring Dumbo

He went on to say some shit about tentacles and mascara… It got really weird. That’s kinda the theme of the whole song though I suppose. Anyway, I think his verse here is awesome, and it’s honestly one of my favorite features on the whole record. Darko comes in right behind him and kills it.

Road kill counting crows
Don’t push me 'cause I’m close
Like that movie happiness, just more morose
Comatose’d like a friendly ghost
Gucci, Louie, Fendi, Rope
Just enough to yolk yourself
From the city of the broken bell
America, the hopeless Hell

The chaotic production matches the energetic deliveries of the MCs here really well too. The way it kinda switches up during the last 50 seconds is fucking awesome. This is one of my favorite songs on the album. I think it’s dope af. The next track is called Crack Smoking Donkeys from Outer Space.

This is the most political song on the project. I immediately put it in my “Fuck Cops” playlist as soon as I heard it. It’s obviously inspired by all the acts of violence committed by police in the United States that have been brought to light over the past 10 months or so. The Industrial-adjacent production definitely matches the content really well. The first verse from Darko is fire too.

Fear mongering motherfuckers, time to put em in their place
What you be calling the po-po? The jakes, the one time
5-0 trying to take my sunshine
Punch in on the clocks, they got quotas, they got traffic stops
On the count of 3, say fuck the cops
Rubber bullets ain’t so soft
Revolution, we could pull it off
Riot gear vs. the flower punks
He’s at Trump Towers having lunch
Watching TV, put the blame on us
Mind washing disease
Who’s gonna police the police?

This is the kinda shit I would play on my way to a protest to set the mood. The hook from Nosaj is pretty cool, and the second verse from Day Tripper is fire.

That's why they called it outta the gate
'Cause I doubt they ever really wanted to create harmony
Ain't no money to be made in not harmin' me
But they'll never reach nirvana, they are not worth honoring
Death won't let you cop a plea
That's just how karma be

The song is dope af. Track 8 is called Glass Eyes, and it’s yet another highlight for me. I think it has one of the best instrumentals on the album. I love that echoey saxophone motif that pops up multiple times throughout the song. It sounds super dreamy and gorgeous. Darko’s vocals have kind of a staticky filter on them, making it sound like he’s rapping through a megaphone.

The rain outside my window covered the sky with black rainbows
The same clothes as yesterday hung like jewels
Kiss the killing moon, I’m through being cool
Just a schmuck like anyone of us
Walk a mile in my shoes you might trip
You might step in dog shit

The hook on this track is really cool too. I kinda have no idea what this song is actually about, but it sounds cool.

Glass eyes
Don’t even try
Don’t even know why
Some of us can fly
Some of us just won’t die

Again, I’m not exactly sure what most of the lyrics mean, but I find them pretty interesting. Even if I don’t necessarily get the main message or theme, I can find certain excerpts that stand out.

I wrote poetry in Portuguese by a dim lit candle
The truth, you can’t handle
Like Yoda
Life ain’t all about getting over
Sometimes you gotta get through
It ain’t some dinosaur bone sent to test you

The song is dope as hell. The following track features ialive, and is entitled A Little Piece of Plastic. This track has a pretty nice sample of J Dilla’s WorkinOnIt, which is cool. Honestly, this is one of the weirdest, yet coolest beats on the whole project. I love the way it drops once the first verse from Darko actually begins, and his verse is really dope. Once again, there’s a political flair to a lot of the lyricism here.

Can’t touch me like MC Hammer
FBI at my door with the radar jammers
They tried to tap me up
Under covers wanna dap me up
Slap me and rough me up
They wanna cuff me up
What happened to peace?
What happened to freedom of speech?

I of course highly appreciated that final couplet as well.

You care more about brands than people
I don’t give a damn about the lesser of two evils; they're still evil

The hook isn’t really anything special to me, but it serves its purpose well enough. ialive killed the second verse. The way his voice panned from right to left and vice versa as it progressed was pretty cool.

Dollar bin boy, rig a couple cables
Stack the amps higher than the price of heirloom tomatoes
The Hell Hole Store's movin' to Barbados
Fuck all cops, that's case closed
While we're on the subject, let's kill the landowners
Let's hunt and kill these pay to play band promoters
It's pandemonium, too high in sodium
And we ain't scared to bring the slime like Nickelodeon
Still sick of whoever's on the podium
Like they ever gave a shit about how we wrote 'em in
Fuck a ballot, I use this as my platform
Ain't a "ism" I'm down with, and you can bet on that horse

The song is dope as hell. It’s followed by That’s a Big Matzah Ball. This song has one of the weirdest, noisiest beats on the whole album. I can see how a lot of people would say it sounds a bit too all over the place, but I fuck with it personally. There’s only really one full verse on this song, but I like it a lot.

Waiting on my idle hands that I had
"Where did I go wrong?" like a disappointed dad
It’s a butterfly effect that makes me check my head
Drown me in the water bed
You taught me it all without a poison apple
Quesadillas and peach Snapples
Wawa chocolate milk and trips of guilt
I cried when it spilt

I love the hook here too just because it’s so relatable for me.

I’m too smart to be happy in this world
I’ll hang myself 'cause I’m hung up on this girl
I told her I loved her and she laughed
And now I’m living in the past

It isn’t one of my favorite songs on the album from a sonic perspective just because the chaotic production is so over the top, but I definitely do like it a lot. I think it’s a dope track. It’s followed by another contender for my favorite track on the album called Anyway the Wind Blows. I really adore the production on this track. It sounds like it could be from an old Nintendo game. It’s a super pretty instrumental. The lyricism here is super relatable for me as well.

Suicidal tendencies
Make my brain warm like Hennessy
A smoking gun
I never was the chosen one
Lotus flowers
My soul’s sour
I gave you power
Kill myself within the hour
A change of heart couldn’t come sooner
If you heard I fell off it’s only just a rumor
If I had a tumor I’d name it after you
The reason I feel so blue
Bluer than velvet was the night
You moved on, I saw the light
Burning bright like a tiger in flight
Flame so white

The hook is super simplistic, but it just works. I can’t tell if the music itself is evoking this imagery or if my imagination is just running wild because I’m currently more depressed than I’ve been in a long ass time, but I just pictured myself walking through a bed of flowers as this song played. I think it sounds gorgeous. Both of the verses on this track are great too.

You live off pessimism, and trust the system
Ducking prisons; corporations get bailed
The whole things tastes stale
They failed us like a baby in a basket down the river
Well, that baby’s getting bigger, and strong too
I think you messed with the wrong crew
The resistance is coming
Anyway you spin it, your still mind numbing

I think the song is dope af. Track 12 is entitled A Friendly Game of Horse, and it’s weird as fuck. Darko doesn’t contribute any vocals to this song; instead he just handles the production, and the vocals are provided by Alora Eisen. In fact, Darko doesn’t rap at all for the remainder of the album, which is interesting. Anyway, this is the same track that was featured in the trailer for the album. I think it’s really cool. The vocals from Alora Eisen are super weird. I mean, her voice is relatively conventional, but the melody and manner in which she sings over this beat is just really bizarre. I feel like an insane woman drugged me and she’s singing to me while I hallucinate. The song honestly sounds creepy as shit to me, but in a cool way. I’m not really sure if it was intended to sound eerie, but I like that aspect of it.

A friendly game of horse, me and you
One plus one equals two
You could be my honey, and I could be your boo
What do you wanna do?
I’m sniffing glue
Black and blue
Love me true
Love me do
Feelings so new

The production makes me think of Alice in Wonderland. The original animated one though. Not the Johnny Depp one. Anyway, I love how weird this track is. I think it’s really dope. The penultimate song is another highlight entitled Mandy.

On this one, the vocals are provided by Harvey Cliff MC. I love the AMC Theatres intro to the song. Harvey’s vocal delivery here is far less eccentric than it was on People Are Weird When You’re a Weirdo, which I’m actually happy about. I think it would’ve felt a bit too gimmicky if he always rapped like that. His performance here feels far more grounded and thoughtful. His vocals are slightly drowned out by the production, so it was difficult to hear some of what he was saying. The shit I could understand was crazy though.

Knocked me out, I woke up to the sounds of screaming
Chained up with barbed wire, couldn't see anything
Blurry vision, focus came to on each face
Took mental notes in hopes Mandy had escaped
But then my heart went sad and mad
As Mandy got dragged out in a sleeping bag
Hoisted up and burned alive in front of me
The madness overcame me completely

I love how dark the lyricism is here. I guess this could be labeled as Horrorcore, but it doesn’t really sound like the kinda shit that typically gets put in that box. Most Horrorcore sounds like a bunch of edgelords trying to make listeners uncomfortable. This just sounds like an artist telling a dark story. I think it’s dope as hell. The final song is called A Horse Named Desire, and the vocals here are provided by Height Keech. I love the production here. It makes me think of that Nickelodeon movie, Barnyard. I don’t know why. It just sounds really fun and innocent. I mean, Barnyard was kind of a dark movie in hindsight, but still. I guess I’m just trying to say that the beat makes me think of farm animals. I love it. It just sounds so friendly. I also love the verse from Height Keech here.

Tear drops keep falling on my window
It’s more than a symbol or a catchy jingle
No radio friendly singles
Were harmed in the making of this riddle
You can leave the castle now, Mr. Asshole
You left a big hassle
Judging the world unfairly and unjust
Maybe today you’re heart will combust
Oh, what a joy
For the sane little girls and boys
You’re no role model that’s for sure
Not even a bottle washed up on shore

Again, I’m not even sure what horses are supposed to represent on this album, but this shit is really entertaining to me either way. I think the song’s dope as hell.

This album is honestly amazing to me. It’s easily my favorite project that I’ve heard from Darko the Super, and one of my favorite albums of the year. I’m just glad that it lived up to the quality of the cover art. I think Darko’s production here is fantastic. This probably should’ve been expected, but he fits over these beats like a glove. I also think every single featured artist here did a great job. Honestly, I don’t have any consistent gripes. This album contains everything I’ve loved about Darko the Super’s music in the past. His signature whimsical delivery is as charming as ever, and pretty much every single verse has at the very least one couplet that stands out. I love how weird this album is, and it just makes me even more excited to hear what Darko does next. I know he already has a lot of releases planned out for 2021, so that’s promising. I honestly don’t know if he’ll be able to top this because there’s not a single track here that I don’t think is dope. Even the opening track which doesn’t feature any rapping is super entertaining to me. Don’t sleep on this album. I think it’s dope af.

Favorite Song: Anyway the Wind Blows
Least Favorite Song: That’s a Big Matzah Ball


Grade: A

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