This album was released on October 16th in 2020. Willie Waze had already released one of the better albums I’d heard last year back in April, so I was looking forward to this one. I’d already heard one track from this album ahead of its release, which was dope. On top of that, I just thought Avant Scarred was a really cool title for an album, so I had high expectations for this one. I thankfully wasn’t let down.
As always, I’ll write about the songs I liked before getting into the tracks that I won’t be returning to. The first song is entitled The Humbling, and it sets up the theme of the album pretty well. Recurring subjects include COVID-19, racial injustice, and general hardships all around. It really feels like an album that could only have been made in 2020. Anyway, this track opens up with MLK talking about how his dream has turned into a nightmare, then we get a beat drop from SeanKeatonTheHNIC along with audio of a protest against racist policing. I really love the way Willie flows over this beat once he actually starts rapping.
Tell me, what's the new weapon to greet you?
I think it's biological
It could take out whole blocks, won't have to pop at you
Under the umbrella, corporations change the station
No cure, vaccination is taxation on mad nations
You probably won’t realize how dope those lines are unless you’re somewhat familiar with the lore of the Resident Evil games. There’s an organization in that series called the Umbrella Corps., and they’re basically an evil corporation that does some sinister shit. I don’t know; it’s been a while since I played any of the games. The only one I ever finished was RE4, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, I think this is a really great intro. In fact, there’s really nothing I dislike about it. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the album. I think it’s dope af. The following track is called Panic Buy, and I wrote about it a while ago back when I was still doing that Best Singles of the Week series.
Willie Waze dropped a really great album back in April, so I was pleased to see this new track. As the title indicates, he’s addressing a lot of current events. The whole track is basically a story in which some wild shit goes down as Willie’s trying to pick up groceries.
I got a cart, and needed a whole boost
To my health, so I hit the shelves with the produce
And to my surprise, was shocked with a greasy scene
Some rich folks got smoked by the leafy greens
I slid away, prayin’ for relief
And seen some gangstas that’s gettin’ money by the beef
The story just gets more and more entertaining. The lines I quoted are obviously pretty dark, but the story as a whole is pretty fun and silly. It kinda reminds me of that Stir Crazy song that Esoteric dropped around the time that the lockdown first started in the United States. It’s a dope track. The beat from DreamLife Beats is fantastic. Check it out, and let me know what you think.
I actually think I like the song more now than I originally did. Track 3 is a major highlight entitled Beamz. This one has an amazing beat from DuhbloSkytzo, and Waze spits one of his most aggressive flows up to this point over it. He spazzed out here. That Minnie Riperton line was crazy. I think Willie Waze is actually one of the best MCs doing it right now when it comes to non-battle rappers with great wordplay. The blog / magazine scheme that he opened the track with was fire.
I'm the Source of the Vibe, my aura is XXL Too Complex, so you better Jet from this direct mail
It’s always refreshing when you can tell an artist actually puts thought into his writing instead of just freestyling some bullshit in five minutes.
Spit with aggravation, inhalation of the fronto leaf
Make the colors pop, treat my art like a Fanta drink
Who flow gross, make most turn ghost when the phantom speak
With rap lines that help mankind take quantum leaps?
This may seem obvious, but I’ve learned the hard way that a lot of rap fans need to be spoon fed when it comes to lyricism, so I’m just gonna point out that the “colors pop” part of that one bar directly relates the “Fanta drink” part since Fanta is a colored soda pop. This dude is really dope, man. He’s got the wordplay mastered. There are so many dope bars that I didn’t even mention. I don’t wanna spoil it though. I just wish y’all could’ve seen my reaction when I caught that Judaism scheme. That one had me jumping out my seat. I love this song. It’s just 150 seconds of top tier rapping. He killed this shit. It’s dope af. The following track is another good one called Trump Check (The Stimulus), and I really dig it despite its brevity.
It’s just one verse, and the song is less than two minutes overall, but the beat from Kount Fif is great, and the verse is fire.
Scarred straight, VA niggas hustle and act calm
My DC niggas bubblin' off the water like bath bombs
My Maryland niggas keep they shit tucked in the burbs
And my mates in Australia comin' for what they deserve
I can't rest until my check chunky and we got trust
And my Tesla funky with that Elon musk, disgust
Again, the song is very short, so there’s not really much to discuss here. It’s just a great verse over a nice beat. I think it’s dope. The following track is entitled Solitary Refinement. The beat on this track from Jewels Polaar is cool. This type of production isn’t really my style, but I think it’s well done, so I still enjoyed it. This is the first song on the album with an actual hook, and it’s pretty good. The singing isn’t that great, but he pulled it off in my opinion. The opening verse is really nice too.
Man I tell you, when I get that check I'ma mash the hardest
Go from a trampoline to a trapeze artist
Hell of a balance, in the midst of medical challenge
With different parts at play for a perpetual advantage
You gotta venture further, update the mental server
I excel, to my clientele I'm an essential worker
Ain't cut out for this shit, 'cause they cursed that shiv
Kept me gone by next season like the first Aunt Viv
The song’s got a pretty straightforward structure, but there’s not really anything I dislike about it in particular. It’s a dope track. It’s followed by a highlight for me entitled B1. This one begins with a Malcolm X speech about how we as black people need to stop singing and start swinging, which is a fire bar. I think this song might have my favorite beat on the whole album. I might change my mind by the time I’m done writing this review, but DreamLife Beats did a fantastic job here. It sounds phenomenal. The song does feel a little short, and there’s not really much of a hook. There’s just a break in between the two verses in which the vocal sample kinda goes in. It sounds so good that I don’t even mind though. It’s probably better than any real hook could’ve been. Lyrically, the content reflects the opening speech from Malcolm X. Willie goes in about current race relations.
First off fuck anybody that ain't down with the cause
Some ain't really down, nigga, they just out a mirage
Gotta watch your own kind, a lot have been compromised
Check the wires twice, coons with grins monopolize
I’m gonna leave some of the best bars unquoted just because I don’t wanna spoil too many of them. He killed this shit though. Obviously if you know me you know I fuck with the content here. The song is dope as hell. Track 7 is a Spoken Word interlude performed by Sunez, and I actually think it’s pretty awesome. I love the production from DreamLife Beats, and I think it would’ve been cool to hear Willie rap over this instrumental, but Sunez definitely did it justice.
Welcome to this pillar of poverty
A hard-to-live standard of righteous teachings
Loss of fiscal value with every bill
Increase of principles and stock in words are bonds
A quarter century of articulated rage of a fine revolution
Through a fuckin' world that kept the pen bloody by maneuvers
Dodging the corners of being marginalized and paragraph into the letter of the law
The orders turn sanity veiled as civility
So poor, I can only work with words that are priceless
He killed this shit. It’s a great interlude. It’s followed by the title track, Avant Scarred, which is another major highlight for me. I love the production here from 1st Spawned, and Willie killed this shit.
Your styles miss demeanor like your man's crimes
My last rhymes did more dirt than your hand grime
Sanitized, canonized, clean, glorified explosive
Your points dock like boat lifts and froze swift
I love how kind of dreamy the production here sounds. The hook on this track is pretty simplistic, but it works pretty well. I love the way Willie comes in on the second verse.
Who gotcha? The realest in the present is not ya
My dudes got connect like Contra with mantras
Of peace and love, unity, intelligent warfare
No matter what's involved, it's all fair, all there
Count it as I mount it, I shout it as you doubt it
Off the loud presently proud, clouds is my outfit
For cash jobs turn to flash mob, crowd is my outfit
Solitary minded, we think as one
Time to act now, nigga, the thinking's done
I feel like I didn’t say much about this song, but, once again, it’s because I don’t really have any issues with it. It’s one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. I love the production, and he killed both of the verses. It’s dope af. The next song I wanna talk about is Once Said. This is another pretty short track. It’s just under two minutes in length, but it’s very good. The production from Narkotix is really nice, and the verse here is just as fire as always.
One wish is that all my thugs survive
They was once deprived
Of visiting a place where love and trust reside
Vacancy never fall vic' to the complacency
Y'all focus on the matrix, I focus on the matrices
From A to Z, alpha to zed, watch the laser beams
Sprout from my head
May Waze achieve, that's a palpable pledge
I feel like each line on this song is better than the preceding bar. He killed this shit. The song doesn’t really have much in the way of structure since it’s just one verse. There’s not much going on here. It’s still very enjoyable to me though. I think it’s dope. The penultimate track is entitled Cancel Erythang, which has another one of the better instrumentals from DreamLife Beats. I also think this song has one of the better hooks as well. The content isn’t particularly interesting to me since he’s kinda just railing against “cancel culture,” which is never really a good look to me. I can’t really think of an example in which a person of interest really faces any harsh consequences for saying something reasonable. Maybe I’m just not remembering. I know Killer Mike got some backlash for saying that people shouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton just because she has a uterus, but it’s not like it really had much of an impact on his career. Even if it did, it’s not like consumers shouldn’t be allowed to choose not to support someone with their own money if they don’t fuck with their views. That’s just how I feel about it, but I don’t really have much of an issue with the way Waze rapped about it. In the second verse he mentioned that cancel culture is usually harsher on those with darker skin, which wouldn’t surprise me if that ended up being true. I haven’t really noticed a pattern personally, but I never really gave it much thought. Anyway, I think the song is pretty good, although it’s far from my favorite. I fuck with it though. The closing track is basically two songs called 4 da Seeds // Bonus Scars. I think the production from juno is pretty nice, although I prefer the beat on Bonus Scars over that of 4 da Seeds. As the title clearly indicates, 4 da Seeds is all about Waze’s love for the younger generation.
The best part, the future, continuation On our road to freedom, next stop: liberation What can we do as a nation to prepare them for the fight? That's never light, gon' take more than some weird advice 'Cause these is war times, every day is a battle Raised to graze, then phased out, slaughtered like cattle
The sung hook on this track isn’t that great, but it serves its purpose well enough. I’m just kind of indifferent towards it to be honest. The song is dope. Bonus Scars is a lot more entertaining to me personally though. I think the production sounds kind of Dilla-esque, and Waze bodied it.
Despair, I'd really hate to see more
But it's inevitable to see shells without the seashore
My dialect could reach cores, none of that surface babble
Disguise insecurities, send you to the church in sandal-
-Wood, what ain't explained is understood
Before necessities to even know became a should
I hope I ain't lost you yet; this a bonus of the margin set
Second tape this year, I can't be scarred with threats
Nigga I'm still clippin' wires, I ain't barged in yet
Disconnect from the outside, then I can carve your neck
I love the way it’s structured. There’s just one fantastic verse over the smooth beat from juno. I think it’s fantastic. So, overall, the track is dope as hell to me. Those are all the tracks that I fuck with from this album. The only one I won’t be returning to is track 9, which is called Realizations (Homesick). I don’t think it’s a bad song, but it’s just not something I’d listen to again. The main reason is that I just don’t really care for the sung hook at all. I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but the singing sounded really off key to me. It’s one of those situations where I can’t tell if it’s just the melody itself or the vocal performance. It’s unfortunate because the beat from bryZone_ybp is really nice, and the verses are great too. The only issue with the verses is that questionable anti-vaccine line at the very end of the last verse. Aside from that the song is nice though. Again, I won’t be returning to it in the future, but I think it’s a solid track. It’s definitely not bad.
This album is dope as hell. I think I like this one even more than the first album he dropped last year. I can’t say I have any specific, recurring gripes. The production was surprisingly great, and Willie’s rapping ability is undeniable. There’s not a single wack verse here. It didn’t even register to me until I started writing this conclusion that he handled the entire album himself with no features, so that’s impressive. This was the second album he released in 2020, so I’m sure we’ll get more music in 2021, so I look forward to that. I’m sure he’ll put something out that’s even better than this in the future, so I’m definitely gonna keep my eye on his output. In the meantime, check this album out and let me know what you think. It’s really great in my opinion.