I don’t often get to write about close homies. Over the last year or so I’ve been making an effort to meet and chill with local artists more so expect a lot more spotlight on those close to home. My first case of doing something for a fellow Wolf has to be for the longtime friend, Scarlxrd.
Formerly known as Mazzi Maz (or simply Maz) the Wolverhampton born dancer, Youtube influencer, nu metal band frontman and mc has been moving at a work rate that is quite frankly phenomenal. Now at this new peak of his journey, he had recently undergone a seemingly spontaneous transformation into Scarlxrd. Becoming a force for the UK’s surge in trap musicians Lxrd has brought a twist to the game standing at the forefront of the trap sub-genre (yes trap now has sub-genres) many are terming “Trap Metal”. His latest project serves as a perfect example of this total meshing of various influences from his involvement in nu metal/rap metal band “Myth City”, his love of being lit, anime and hip-hop.
Welcome to Lxrdszn…
His 5th project since 2016 (that work rate though…) Lxrd combines high energy, ominous beats that both get you lit and shook at the same time. The beats serve as a strong centerpiece. Now I know this might sound but bear with me. Often my biggest criticism of trap has often been the musical simplicity; the lack of musicianship. Lxrd turns that on its head…wait for no… he suplexes it and then proceeds to curb stomp what remains of that stereotype. Reinforcing the strong drum tracks with powerful driving bass and guitar tracks, vocal samples in Japanese and Jamaican patois it’s clear he’s pushing boundaries but arguably without trying.
I mean if you were a Jamaican kid who likes to get lit and is up to date with One Piece doesn’t this sound completely logical…alright then. Managing to bridge the surprisingly close gap between Milly rock and mosh pit vibes Lxrd has created a vibe that quite frankly is pretty damn crossover heavy and still raw and authentic. He manages to do America’s latest thing and still sound British as hell, no adopted accent, no slurred speech just bars…and so we reach my favorite topic…
The bars. As someone who was sitting in an office with him freestyling 7/8 years back, I can tell you categorically… he bars. No ifs or buts. This is another example of turning stereotypes on their heads. We all know the general thoughts on trap rappers/mumble rappers. I don’t need to speak on them. There are exceptions emerging though…kids like Goldlink, XXXtentacion and their like are proving lit beats don’t automatically mean sub-par writing. Lxrd carries on in this line, coming from a thorough understanding of the art and those who laid the foundation of the mc, Lxrd is clearly someone who takes his craft seriously. Easily balancing contemporary influences and flows with strong wordplay, technical ability and all with time to throw a cheeky “Hi mom” in there.
A strong point to the project is what seems to be a big trend in hip-hop these days, no features. This independent rebellious streak that seems to say, “I don’t need anyone else to make my drops fire”. I do confess though…it would be interesting to hear Lxrd collab if nothing else it would be an extra exercise in versatility. This is clearly a project to be heard live. It reeks of energy and dark rooms with no room. For me personally, this isn’t something I could keep in my headphones all day, it’s too hype for that but for a gym playlist, seeing him live, or just bumping with the homies to get absolutely wild to in your own company mos’ def.
All in all a damn solid project. It pushes the boundaries of a genre and still conforms where it needs to. It has no glaring weaknesses for what it is. It doesn’t even have any weak tracks for me to be honest, which is a rarity, it flows perfectly keeping a coherent energy and pace the whole way through. If anything the only take I have on another project is perhaps taking that time to release and make it. Space counts for a lot in terms of growth and sometimes you got to make them miss you, plus 5 albums in one year is a serious foundation.
In the meantime feel free to hit his website up for more info, purchases and most importantly tour dates!!!
Until next time homies…