Young Lyrix – Bastard Child
Opening with title track ‘Bastard Child’, Young Lyrix establishes his style from the start as dark and dirty.
His lyrics are not for the faint hearted, sexual and misogynistic, and unapologetically so. The sparse production adds to the level of disturbia, leaving the listener feeling alone and exposed, at the mercy of Lyrix. ‘La-La’ moves in a direction that at first seems softer in tone with its piano sample, but quickly descends back into the trademark eeriness, while ‘1 Million Years’ has a sly sense of humour to it, with its opening sample of Adventure Time’s terrifying character Lemongrab. ‘Bad Ideas’ builds a richer scale of tone with its samples that create a thick foundation for the rap that rides over the top, and as the album progresses, the tracks seems to broaden in their construction. ‘No Man’s Land’ makes good use of spiralling, tinkling pianos that create a dreamy soundscape for Young Lyrix’s confident rhymes to flow, while ‘Sweet Dreams’ heads in a more Eminem direction with gritty guitars and a big, arena sound. ‘Krazy’ heads back to the kind of tone delivered at the album’s opening, with things sounding dark and distant, like the kind of track you wouldn’t want to be listening to if you were walking home late at night in a neighbourhood you don’t really know. Young Lyrix’s main skill is found in his ability to create so much dread and moodiness with so little elements – a synth here, a sample there, his style is one that understands the concept that less is more. ‘Bleeding Hearts’ applies a dubstep style pitch shifted sample that continues to maintain the sense of dread, with a lone piano that wanders along through the track like a lost firefly, while ‘Thin Pancakes’ cranks up the aggression a few notches with the raps being spat out machine gun style, acknowledging “anger and panic” in the midst of the flow. ‘We Roll Deep’ throws in some fun electronica in the mix with horror-movie style pianos, and a guest appearance from Yung Musiq that adds a welcome vocal contrast that adds value to the album’s overall balance, while ‘Bleeding Into Pieces’ starts off my mumbling and grumbling before exploding into a bass led piece of hip hop angst and vitriol. ‘Tonight’ features a gorgeous sample of ‘Beautiful Disguise’ by Picture Me Broken, which works well as a production choice, while ‘Friend’ adds more pitch shifted samples that push the creepiness a little further as the rap from Young Lyrix is laid down in a way that feels somewhat restrained after so much bravado and as a result comes across as vulnerable, open, and at times even tender. Bastard Child is a record that delivers on multiple levels, but to get the most out of it you’ll need to put some time in. At seventy minutes long, this is an album for real fans of out there hip hop who need a fix of something new, fresh, and with some different ideas to stir things up a little.