Having dropped mid April, Lil Shies comes correct with the second installment of “The Mozi Effect”. This project is a short but incredibly sweet one, debuting at only three tracks. Despite the short tracklist, each track does clock in between 2 and 3 minutes, something I have found to be relatively novel nowadays. The duration of each track really allows the listener to coast in between songs incredibly coherently and lucidly, ingesting just the right amount of sonic prowess on behalf of Shies, floating against the provided vibrations that are both hazy and relaxing, but punchy and gritty. The tonal sounds of the project are a pleasant mixed bag, evoking different feelings and emotions that range from cryptic and threatening, to reserved and dare I say icy, to sharp and lethally spit lyrics and hooks.

    The opening track “Panic” possesses that chilling sense of doom and danger, encapsulated within braggadocio lines, hard hitting bars, and gloomy instrumentals courtesy of the titular moziATL. Mozi leads the beat with a haunting string of piano notes, abruptly followed by dense 808’s along with flowing and airy wind instrumenttion. The hook is repetitive and abrasive, not withholding any sense of boastful confidence or flash;

I’m a fucking hound (ay)// You a fucking clown (ay)// I don’t fuck with niggas I don’t hardly give out pounds

Not to mention, it’s catchy, something that’s thoroughly needed if its a bar you’re going to frequently spit in a track. Succinctly put, the hook is a bold embodiment of Shies’ disposition to anything beneath him. A highlight of the track, something I feel is often crucial to adding personality to rap tracks, is Shies’ ad-libs. The simple “Wha”s, “Zoom”s, and “Ay”s serve as supplemental decorations to already well designed lines. Following that train of thought,

They just love the static // We can make it happen // We can get it crackin // Treat him like a fucking lobster we gon fuckin crack him… Ridin round town and I cruise // And I’m rocking Tommy but I feel like Tommy Cruise… I don’t want that little hoe you can fucking choose

Are well crafted, memorable, and apt lines that act as a great lead up to the hook.

Following “Panic”, is the slower, glimmery track “Alaska”. Mozi fills this track to the bounty with atmospheric sounds, evoking the feel of a large enveloping cave with a temperature of below freezing, indelibly appropriate considering the title and hook. The instrumentals are simple in arrangement but equally have depth and complexity the way these icy sound effects bounce around the track atop of gleaming, reverbing, piano keys.

I said it’s cold like Alaska… I said it’s cold like Alaska I’m a motherfuckin bastard and that time is moving faster swear they will never understand how Imma reach to like 50 bands

It’s the hook that reels you in and puts you in a trance as you sit through the chilling sounds of Mozi’s instrumentals. The cadence of Shies’ voice and content of the lyrics only helps to reinforce this cold motif. While there are memorable bars throughout the verse of the track, like “I’m in the NY, babygirl on me I’m bustin back like a samurai”, the hook is the crown jewel of this track that cohesively pulls all the noteworthy elements of a track into one section, from catchiness, flow, lyrics, and instrumentals.

    Lifting up the veil of dark, gripping, hypnotic sounds such as that found in the previous two tracks, “Havoc” utilizes a very light, cinematic instrumental selection with a Chinese lute (an instrument I’ve come to learn is called a pipa) as it’s lead, supplemented with airy high pitched flutes. The production of this track has this very epic, slick sound and aura that helps back Shies’ lyrics that ultimately paints him as the central anti-hero of the track.

Niggas want static // Nigga you want it then nigga you have it // Give me the mic give me the beat you know that I’m spazzin

The hook already opens the listeners up to understanding the resilience and confidence Shies’ wields as an artist, taking on obstacles without hesitation because it’s known he’ll come through on top. It’s emblematic of the aggression element on the song, but it contrasts well with the more conscious and personal lines Shies’ spouts.

The hood is fucked up // It make me wanna cry for the soldiers who died // You livin a lie (x3) They wanna take over… the government they treat us like “doges” // Turnin 24 and I feel like the world’s just already over// I’m drinking the Hen this shit won’t not just clear my closure(never will)… 6 feet deep in the dirt make sure I make a mark on this earth

Following the second hook, the lines then come full circle as more aggressive and thick skinned lyrics are toted, reflective of this “anti-hero” persona mentioned before.

They hate that I’m like this // They hate that I’m real // Independent wave // For now fuck a deal // You flexin with guns, but gettin no kills // You flexin with guns, but gettin no kills
   

Shies’ Mozi Effect 2 is a project that’s baffling in nature considering there’s a lot to listen to an unpack in just a three song drop. The strongest element are the hooks each song has, and the way the tracks are put together are a ragtag team of very different yet impactful and cohesive sounds, tones, and themes that play off one another very well. As the hooks are the defining tenet to the project, it is worth noting that verses come few and far with a scathingly memorable lyric, but when they do, it comes off incredibly hard. It’s a project fuelled by balance and contrast, whether it’s lyrics or production. Run it up.