Slauson Malone is one of the most unique rappers in the game right now. Starting off as a member of the group Standing on the Corner and going solo with his breakout critically acclaimed debut, A Quiet Farwell, Slauson’s built up a strong reputation in a marginal amount of time. This week, he has released his first EP, Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak). With more than pressure than ever, will the 25-year-old MC create another cult classic, or will he turn out to be a one-album wonder?
While Slauson’s vocals take a backseat to the records production, his lyricism and delivery are responsible for the emotion and depth embedded in this LP. The approach the 25-year-old rapper takes to his songwriting is quite intriguing. While being a proven wordsmith, Malone decides only to use a few words in each bar. This makes everything he says seem super important, and this strategy is predominantly effective. Cuts like “Smile #6″, Smile #5”, and “My feet’s tired” seem to embody this perfectly. Other songs like “Smile #7” and “THE MASSAGE 4: Museum” take this to new levels as Malone goes from using short verses and small phrases to barley any words. Looking at the subject matter, Slauson Malone tends to reach within his inner mind as he contemplates on his sanity and mental health. While stating this time and time again on the 24-minute record, its ideas feel botched and underdeveloped as Malone doesn’t give himself enough time lyrically to flesh out his ideas. As a whole, Slauson Malone proves he is not scared to spread his wings and further experiment within abstract hip hop.
Sonically, Crater Speak’s production helps bring the listeners into the dark world Slauson Malone is stuck inside. Each instrumental is dynamic, changing at every chance it has. From the unsettling “Smile #6” to “The MESSAGE 3: Blood”, each cut’s soundscape tells a story of its own. The sound of the project is natural and organic. Utilizing rhythmic strings and base, almost every song shows these two forces fighting with each other in some regard. The grand finale, “The Wake Pt. 3 & 2”, was the records standout track as its orchestral instrumental is scary yet resolving. Overall, the production here is so grand and immaculate; it masterfully encompasses Slauson Malone’s ability as a composer.
In conclusion, Vergangenheitsbewältigung (Crater Speak) completes the nearly impossible task of delivering a satisfying follow up to a modern classic. While Slauson’s lyricism feels lazy at times, the emotional soundtrack pulls on the listener’s heart and feelings at all times. In the future, I’m sure Slauson Malone has something even bigger in the works, and this EP’s purpose was to hold fans off until it comes. With another solid addition to his catalog, Slauson’s legend potential has only trajected even higher!