LISTEN: Shadowpact – “Stay Down” [prod. Nick B]

Never-Nervous.com

Another day, another single from Shadowpact. That may seem written in resignation, as if somehow wearied by the incessant flow of awesome from the dynamic duo of emcees Modern Marvill and Sleye Kooper and their revolving door of producers, but it’s anything but. A slow and steady stream of solid bops has, whether intentional or not, developed a tension for a new full length; can’t we get like half an hour of dope beats and clever rhymes, please? The world is a rotten place full of villains and villainy, and seems to get worse every day; what we need is more lines about nerd shit and going hard at life, because why not.

With Stay Down, Shadowpact have pared down the references for a more traditional lyrical take on hip-hop, the classic “we’re awesome, deal with it” routine made famous by, well, pretty much every rapper in history. There is a playful Beastie Boysvibe here, which is bravado infused with a little self-doubt, or at least so it would seem from my perspective. But then, and this is real talk, despite the fact that I have a BA in English and write on a daily level, I still get this kind of thing wrong on the regular. That’s the joy of art though: it’s subjective.

The beat is a little grimier than their usual, with production on this cut by the undeniable Nick B. It’s been nice to hear how the pair mix with outside collaborators, and they’ve proven that they have a good ear for quality. Still, it’ll be nice to hear more from erstwhile producer Artemis the Archer. And that’s not a knock at Nick B either. This track is great and he continues to shine.

Listen below and get into it. This track is a single from the now released Little Heart Records sampler, which you can get here.

REVIEW: Shadowpact – “Stone the Crows”

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Shadowpact
Stone The Crows
Little Heart Records

When Shadowpact dropped The Narrative in 2014 I had mixed feelings about it. On one hand I really felt like they were on to something, while on the other I only really cared for about half of the album. They were super young dudes dropping their first album, so I was excited to see where it all led. A year later, Shadowpact is back with Stone the Crows and I can easily say that excitement has been fulfilled.

This album offers a supremely different contrast from The Narrative in that it sounds fuller and clearer as each song is distinctly its own. The mixing and mastering on this album is also improved and it sounds fucking great. You can hear every word and video game related sound with perfect clarity. It’s seriously impressive.

Those video game related tones and samples on this album perfectly reflect the lyrical content as well. The first track, “Game Over,” is an excellent example of this. When one uses a bit crushing tone and refers to himself as an “Orc Slasher” he is working with a clear theme. Gaming is a theme I can get behind, but it’s not the only on the album.

Each song both thematically and musically stands on its own. The only idea that seems to come up more than once is a carnival atmosphere. In “86’ed” Marvel literally says, “Welcome to our carnival.” In “Bearnos” they introduce each other in a carnival way while the beat is whimsical and happy which fits in with the carnival theme.

The standout track is definitely “Bats in the Belfry.” It’s upbeat, catchy, and it’s fucking fun. It’s the type of jam that gets you jumping up and down and everyone was doing just that at The Highlands Taproom for the Stone the Crows release party a week or so ago.

I’m really impressed with how far Shadowpact has come in just a year’s time. Stone the Crows sounds like a release from a group who’s been doing this for a decade. Once again, they have me excited for where they are going in the future, but this time I’m more excited about what they just put out.

WATCH: Shadowpact Performs “Bats In The Belfry” Live Inside Never Nervous Headquarters

Never-Nervous.com

A few weeks ago, we had Shadowpact on The Never Nervous Podcast. After the interview, they agreed to perform a song from their upcoming EP Stone The Crows inside Never Nervous Headquarters AKA my living room.  This is the third in a series of casual live videos that we have been fortunate enough to put together.  This particular showing was such a good time, as these dudes were flawless (as usual).

Stone The Crows is scheduled to hit the streets this Friday, August 28th via Little Heart Records, and to celebrate its release a kick-ass show is set to happen that very night at Highlands Tap Room.  Joining them will be Skyscraper Stereo, Kogan Dumb, Bonez and Allen Poe… what a fucking lineup! For more information on the event, go here.

PODCAST: Shadowpact Returns to Talk About Their New EP, Game of Thrones, and Shit that Goes Wrong at Shows!

Never-Nervous.com

Shadowpact, who we consider to be one of Louisville’s finest hip hop troupes, returns for another interview which we are super stoked to present. They stopped by Never Nervous Headquarters to promote their upcoming EP Stone The Crows,which is scheduled to hit the streets August 28th via Little Heart Records. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on this noise early, and I’m here to tell you that this shit is top shelf. The release show/party is scheduled to happen Friday, August 28th at Highlands Tap Room. For more information on the event go here.

In the mean time, listen as we talk about the new EP, Game of Thrones, and shit that goes wrong while performing live below:


Preorder Stone The Crows by going here.

WORTH MENTIONING: There are a few Game of Thrones spoilers on this episode, nothing too earth shattering.  So there’s your warning.

REVIEW: Shadowpact – “The Narrative”

Never-Nervous.com

Shadowpact
The Narratvie
Little Heart Records

Shadowpact could have put out the Louisville Hip Hop 7” of the year, an award I just made up. There are 5 really good songs on their new album The Narrative. Then there are 5 other songs that sound the same but aren’t as fun. There isn’t a bad song on the album, but 7 out of the 10 songs could be one long song and I wouldn’t know the difference. 


What I really like about Shadowpact is all their hip references. Hip in my world at least. Their name comes from the DC universe, and they are constantly using their hipster sensibility to reference things like South Park’s version of Al Gore or sitting at a poker table with Gambit.  And if you don’t know who Gambit is, I say go fuck yourself, and I have a feeling these guys might too. The exceptional track “8-Bit” has enough X-Men references to make Professor X do the #NaeNae.

Tracks like “8 Bit,” “Bragging Rights,” and “No Comment” stand out on this album because of their beats.  Those three have officially made it into my summer playlist, particularly “8 Bit” because it has the Nintendo sound that it alludes to in its name. Outside of those three songs everything feels like it’s a jazz track sampled over the same generic hip hop beat, mostly at the same tempo. Even so, I still like “Flotilla” and “Salvador Stopwatch.” 
Fans of Atmosphere, which I’m mostly not, will really dig these guys. Fans of Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets, will see those influences but ultimately be disappointed by the lack of depth. Fans of 2 Chainz, well, there’s nothing for you here. Shadowpact never gives a shout out to their stove or their wrist

It’s exciting to see more Hip Hop coming out of Louisville. Especially since Shadowpact is nothing like I’ve heard locally. I remember a time when I couldn’t name one local rapper, but now we have acts like Shadowpact, Skyscraper Stereo,1200,  and Jalin Roze. Take some time to give all of these groups a listen. Support Louisville Hip Hop!