REVIEW: Shadowpact – No Comment (Single)

Never-Nervous.com

I’m not really sure what a single is on the internet any more. To be fair, the internet has changed everything, but it seems especially noticeable with the, uhm, “release” of a new single, which is really just one uploaded track on a bandcamp or soundcloud. Not to say that any of that is bad, or that I myself wouldn’t do the exact same thing; here the internet is the avatar of the broke, that we all have the same platform for our voice, appropriate in the context of a hip-hop release. Of course, all this issue I have is an artifact from a different age. This is how things are released, and any feelings I have for a physical product are vestigial and archaic elements of a bygone era, and one in which I’m thankful to see go.

So when Never Nervous gets an email to review the new single from Shadowpact, I feel the need to contextualize this in a way that makes some kind of sense to me. Anymore a single is just an advance preview of an album, a logical component to a culture that releases trailers for trailers. That this comes from a hip-hop group is excellent, and certainly worthy of commentary, despite their titular release. In fact, the very title “No Comment” is ironic given just how much commentary is there, both superficially and aesthetically. As a stand-alone preview to a longer effort, “No Comment” comes out of the gate swinging.

Admittedly I’m fairly ignorant to Louisville hip-hop, but I have to say that what if what I’ve heard is any indication of what’s out there, then I’m completely on board with it. Reported as the collaboration between emcees Modern Marvill and Sleye Cooper joined forces with “Artemis the Archer,” or Dr. Dundiff, depending on what you read. Since this so far is largely about image, I would be remiss not to point out what confusion this creates, although if it was intentional to label the producer in two completely different ways, I’m into it, like if J.J. Abrams made a hip-hop band. All mysterious and shit. And appropriate in relation to their name. These cats are ungoogleable.

This track in particular is fucking hot. Well, “hot” may be a bit to bold, given how mellow the proceedings are. There is certainly an early aught’s Anticon vibe here, or put differently like RZA level production as filtered through indie sensibilities. The end product is largely successful due to the tension between the music and lyrics that create a rather ominous atmosphere.

Despite the fact that my BA is in English, I’m not all that great at parsing lyrics on the fly. I can live with myself, and I hope everyone here can too. Another impediment here is my ignorance in knowing which emcee is which, although this distinction is moot considering that I like both equally. There are some clever rhymes here, touching on politics, both social and cultural, and pop culture. I’ve got to love a song that threatens to use katana blades to make someone like Walt Jr. I mean, I’m pretty sure homeboy had polio or something medical, so I have to hand it to someone that can use a katana on the genetic level; that shit is sharp.

Since this is a trailer for a proper release, I have to say that I’m properly hyped. This is dropping sometime in the next few months, and hopefully it’ll be warm enough to crack the windows and dust off the hefeweizens by then (which I linked so you all would know what to buy me), because if this is the indicator that I believe it to be of what’s to come, then I’m ready to relax and think deep thoughts. And drink a beer in warmer weather, because fuck all this.