“Chrome Lips” is eerily entertaining
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 23:09
Before listening to a second of Supreme Cuts & Haleek Maul’s collaborative effort “Chrome Lips,” take a good look at the cover art, because the image of a demonic baroness amidst a candlelit ballroom of marble strongly encapsulates the haunting atmosphere of this album.
I say this not to dissuade nor as a disclaimer, because Supreme Cuts’ production on this album is chillingly superb. The distorted samples on this album put you in the spookiest of places, the types of places where the anguished echoes coming from down the cobwebbed hallway are the only indicator that you are not totally alone.
What brings the life to “Chrome Lips” is Maul, a 16-year-old kid from Barbados who is extremely cocky. Put Maul in a horror flick and he’d not only invalidate the aged trope which allows only the pretty girl to survive the onslaught, but he’d have said pretty girl comfortably under his arm and ride away towards the rising sun.
“Chrome Lips,” the title track on the album (and resident banger), perhaps best illustrates Maul’s Nosferatu swagger. “I’m the ghost of the Lord” he raps (amongst several other blasphemous lines) eschewing all other worlds over church organs with a flow angry and confident enough to tear down all idols and adversaries that stand in the young man’s way.
That being said, however, Maul is still 16, and fatalistic teenage angst permeates the entirety of this album. Though certainly not graceful, he conveys a drowning of pain through material vices that bring artists such as Kid Cudi to mind.
Indeed, Maul seems to jump between several different personas throughout the album, and Maul’s inability to truly break through any of them may be the biggest drawback of the album. “Hoverboard,” a track with Main Attraktionz’s Squadda B (Das Racist’s Kool A.D. also makes an appearance on the album) is a slow, uplifting track that makes you feel both nostalgic and galactic. Its power, though, is mostly due to Squadda B and Maul’s conclusion. He may very well be honest, but he comes off as quite dishonest following tracks such as the two previously mentioned.
In any case, both Supreme Cuts and Haleek Maul are relatively new to their respective scenes, and “Chrome Lips,” currently being distributed for nothing more than an email address through Mishka, is worth the listen, if only to save for a pre-game session over Halloween weekend.