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Monsta Ma$h – Stay On Edge

We’ve all had the situation where we have to keep on smacking the ketchup bottle until finally that lovely red condiment pours out in abundance. There’s a technical term for this. Ketchup is a thixotropic substance – that is, it becomes less viscous the more it is agitated – hence its initial reticence to come forth followed by the sudden flow. Bear with me, I’m going somewhere with this.

Monsta Ma$h is one of those artists whose output might at first appear dense and unfathomable, but the three tracks here – ‘Stay On Edge’, ‘Waitin Fo Tha Rain’ and ‘One Day U’ – behave in a similar fashion, that is, they demand attention so that their full flow can be enjoyed in their full abundance. Certainly, ‘Stay On Edge’ features the upbeat bounce that challenges any toes in the vicinity to resist at least a little tapping along. When held up against the current trend for a more dark and edgy tone of hip hop, here we are treated to a sunnier tone. Monsta Ma$h’s delivery is rasping but never harsh, with a flow that glues the track together while the female backing vocals add a softer tone that perfectly compliments the track’s light feel. ‘Waitin For The Rain’ sticks to the same sunny formula, with a 2-step guitar part to keep things feeling laid back and easy going while the bass grooves underneath it all, keeping everything locked in place. So it’s ‘One Day U’ that does finally go for a more melancholic approach, with a darker guitar sound and yearning vocals blending with Ma$h’s rap. It’s here where his flow really stands out, exposing an emotional undercurrent and inviting the listener to really lean in. Ultimately, just like the ketchup flows, this is the real payoff: an underlying vulnerability that ignores the usual bravado and presents something of what it is to be human.

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