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Album reviews
Artist:
Swagger Rite
Album:
The Swagged Out Pedestrian
Release year:
2019
Label:
Sony Music Canada
06 January 2020 / by Demar J. Grant (author)

Movements: Trap, SoundCloud rap

Lane: Early XXXTentacion, Early A$AP Ferg

 

Scrolling through Swagger Rite's SoundCloud reveals a trail of sounds. From winding auto-tune crooners to bouncy dancehall to a sombre Jocelyn Flores flip, Swagger has been an audio journeyman. But six months ago, the release of his single 'In Love wit the K' showed a definitive musical shift. Gone are the melodies and crooning vocals of Swagger Rite past. Embraced are the distortion and authority of Swagger Rite present. The Swagged Out Pedestrian capitalizes on Swagger Rite’s new shift and is a punishing mantric hair raiser from start to finish.

There's only one way to listen to this EP and it's at max volume. At it's bedrock The Swagged Out Pedestrian is a simple melody fused with distorted bass. Club bangers have their infectious hooks and ballads have their romantic language, Swagger Rite's ragers have his commanding voice. When Swagger declares "this is a mosh pit" on 'Mosh Pit' your head bangs in obedience. Swagger Rite demands and you obey as waves of the distorted bass crash you into anyone within reach. Swagger's lyrics are mantric, the hooks are simple single lines repeated. As Swagger "fell in the love with the K" so did you as the words tumble out of your mouth instinctually.

The simplistic melodies throughout the The Swagged Out Pedestrian remove the need for thought, they're mere countdowns accentuating overwhelming bass drops especially on repeat listens. The grade school piano in 'Drop Top' builds curiosity before it's assault on first listen; then unbridled hype every spin afterwards. The EP is one dimensional but over it's 5 songs and a 13-minute runtime it only needs a single dimension. With each song's preprogrammed anticipation, combined with their visceral bass chewing through the mix, listening to The Swagged Out Pedestrian multiple times in a row is akin to watching John Wick on repeat.

But John Wick only works if everyone plays their role. The Swagged Out Pedestrian's features serve as fun reprieves for Swagger Rite's dominance. While Blocboy JB's menacing, breathless verse on "fell in love with the K" feeds Swagger’s aggression he’s still able to make it tongue in cheek. Meanwhile, Flipp Dinero's stumbling flow on "Drop Top" only punctuates Swagger Rite's intoxicating hook.

John Wick got better with every movie by pushing a single genre to it's limits. The Swagged Out Pedestrian could be the first step in doing the same. The EP plugs directly into your central nervous system delivering an unforgettable rush for 13 minutes and a dragon nearly caught every listen afterwards. There's room for improvement and expansion with The Swagged Out Pedestrian (‘Hottest Out’ and ‘Top Guys’ show that) but it's up to Swagger Rite to end his journey and do it.

 

Rating: 7.5/10

Fire: Drop Top, Mosh Pit, In Love with the K

Ice: Hottest Out

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The author

Demar J. Grant

It’s nothing personal, it’s strictly music. @DemarJGrant

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