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by Craig Smith
11 June, 2003@12:00 am
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A vocal exception to a crew renown for production prowess, Molemen founding member Vakill’s specializes in microphone assault. The Chicago rhymer is still an underground MC, but has been around for over a decade. In fact, Vakill once partnered with veteran rapid rapper Twista and was involved with disintegrated record deals with both a corporate giant (RCA) and an
undersized imprint (Pockets Linted). Appropriately landing at Molemen Records for The Darkest Cloud, he wisely enlists his gifted Molemen brethren to craft the boom bap found on his first properly distributed full length. The results prove Vakill’s not merely a battle rhymer as he puts
together a rock solid, varied collection of flows, going from ridiculously clever busts to engaging storytelling.

Vakill, who strikingly resembles Ras Kass in vocal tone and subject matter, loves to wild out with outrageous lines like those found all over “Sickplicity”. “I’m math with Godly wrath,” he brazenly rips on the cut. “One to grow on like Pinocchio eatin’ pussy while he takin’ a polygraph.” Panik produces that track that dumps a generically sung chorus for DJ Premier-esque precision scratching. To go a step further, the Molemen’s beatmaking style throughout this LP and much of their other work suggests they just might be the finest purveyors of DJ Premier’s timeless production style aside from Primo himself.

“The Creed” is another head nodder, compliments of Memo’s emotive string arrangements. More notable lines spew from Vakill’s mouth, including “My definition of on point effects hemophiliacs and virgins all in the same manner / One prick and it’s all over.” Also among the memorable contributions is “Forbidden Scriptures”, a piano peppered posse cut fashioned by Panik that’s tightly laced by Breez Evahflowin, Jakki Tha MotaMouth, Camu Tao, and Copywrite. Though Slug shows up on the album’s most cliche’ offering, a track examining the life of a fallen rapper (yes, we’ve heard it before) appropriately titled “Fallen”, Vakill wisely handles most of this outing on his own and isn’t in need of much back up.

Lest you think Vakill’s got nothing but punchlines, he flaunts earnest storytelling skills on his most personal track, “The Flyer”. It’s a tune concerning his crumbled relationship with one time close pal and platinum selling rapper Twista. “A friendship was crushed with the gentlest touch / And oh yeah / Congratulations on Adrenaline Rush,’” he says. Vakill’s still clearly troubled by this longtime beef and if Twista hears this poignant tune, a reconciliation should be in order.

Staking his claim as a multi dimensional rhymer with a posse of lovingly traditional beatsmiths, Vakill’s piercing couplets mean bright skies lay ahead for an MC with The Darkest Cloud.

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