Spillage Village is a super collective formed by JID, EARTHGANG’s Doctor Dot and Johnny Venus, Mereba, Jordan Bryant, and Hollywood JB. Making a name for themselves in 2014 with Bears Like This and its 2016 follow-up Bears Like This Too Much, the group caught J Cole’s eye and ended up singing to his Dreamville label. Since then, each member has been focusing on their solo careers, especially JID and EARTHGANG, who have ended up turning out to be the labels breakout stars. Today, the group is back together for their brand new LP, Spilligon. Revolving around themes of spirituality and religion, will the collectives return shake listeners or prove these talented artists should permanently go their own ways?
With so many talents competing with one another to leave a lasting impact on listeners, the record ends up becoming somewhat of a mixed bag. Cuts like “Cupid” are an example of this as Johnny Venus attempts to steal the spotlight with his newfound harmonic style, but it ends up failing miserably as his vocal range is nearly nonexistent. Many artists surprised me as they ended up shining over some of the record’s brightest stars. Whether it was Benji’s empowering verse on “Shiva” or Hollywood JB’s breathtaking performance on “Ea’alah”, a lot of the less recognized Spillage members are fighting to get the shine they deserve. Most of the features were solid especially, Chance the Rapper’s metaphor heavy “Judas” and 6lack’s intoxicating “Oshun”. Out of all the great performances, the MVP trophy goes to JID as he’s always switching up styles and reinventing the lyrical wheel every moment he appears. The record’s standout song was “Baptize” as JID and EARTHGANG team up with Ant Clemons as they attempt to cleanse the world with the spirit of music. Leaving a lot to take away, Spilligon displays so much talent, which ends up being its main problem.
Sonically, the soundtrack of the record stays focused and driven, unlike its vocals. Taking a raw approach, each song has an authentic and homegrown feel. With this at its base, the heavily emphasized themes of spirituality conjoin with the albums sonic component, which is seen at its pinnacle on “Ea’alah” and “Judas”. Taking a slightly different approach, the MIKE DEAN produced “End of Daze” stuck out as its hard-hitting drums put the listener in a trans. Behind the boards, the cohesive and well put together soundscape makes Spilligon feel connected and well planned out.
In conclusion, Spilligon is a solid album that only suffers from some of the game’s brightest young talents battling for their chance to prove their worth. Whether it was someone like Jordan Bryant or guys like Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot, the chemistry felt off as many artists were simply playing way out of their role. While Spillage Village doesn’t have the chemistry they once did, their third and possibly final record serves as a nice close off for their die-hard fans.