L.E Cairo is an upcoming rapper who’s earned a name for himself with his viral single “Sandcastles”. Having over 5 million plays on SoundCloud as of this review, fans have been waiting for the young MC’s next move. With his brand new LP Vertical Vertigo, he has finally answered listeners’ prayers. With a chance at making a cult classic debut, will L.E Cario seize the moment?
Trying to bind together a sonically diverse but topically dark story about man’s struggle, L.E Cario lays out the skills for a bright future. Cuts like “The Descent” and “Torch The Past” display this at their best due to their potent songwriting and engaging instrumentals. On the other hand, the melodically lackluster “Caught in a Colorstorm” still shows Cario has ways to go as aside from the poor sound quality, the singing takes down the otherwise vibrant cuts message. Furthering this idea, cuts like “Magical Merchandise” continue to lay out some solid groundwork but are held back by its clunky and off-putting opening. With sections like these, it sometimes feels like he’s trying to be over the top and edgy instead of honing in the true meaning within the art. My favorite aspect of Cario is his raw emceeing. Seeing someone on the microphone sounding like his life is on the line is super compelling and holds many moments together in its entirety. Overall this LP’s first half has some highlights but lacks layering and definition.
Progressing with the self-titled track “Vertical Vertigo”, we start to finally see some relatable struggles being presented in a digestible manner. Hearing L.E excrete about his mental doubts and worries is super authentic, and between his two voices representing the light and dark, this is a true work of meaning. Building on this, “YOUTHANEYESME” and “Chasing Rainbows” unravel the MC’s furious side in an epic and memorable manner. Filled with intuitive flows and clever one-liners, this is one of the best sections in the entire experience. The entire album leads up to the seven-minute epic “Raven and the Writing Desk”, a mind-boggling anthem that tells a story of doubt and fear through multiple beat and tone switches. Closing the record, “Sunlight Parasol” allows the listener’s thoughts to settle, and the heartfelt “The Ascent” adds even more beauty to the falling action. While the second half is not perfect, there’s a lot to be admired.
In conclusion, Vertical Vertigo is a messy but promising start to what could be a long career for L.E Cario. His ideas are there, and the liberties he takes are commendable, but for the little world building experience he has, many of these risks tend to fall flat. While I don’t think this record is inherently bad, it’s not too memorable outside of a few songs. In the future, I’m L.E Cario will improve as he spends more time in the booth, but for some immediate quality of life improvements, I recommend to get some better sound equipment as the mixing felt off throughout the entire album. If you want to stay posted with this gifted up and comer, be sure to follow @lecario7 on Instagram!
- Creative ideas
- Solid lyricism
- Very passionate
- Risks end up in mixed results
- Poor mixing
- Nothing too memorable
Written by: Marc Dator
Scored and edited by: Marc Dator founder and owner of Fantastic Hip Hop