I stepped away from the heat and the stimuli of social media for roughly 5 days of a 10-day vacation. I thought “Yes, I’ve prevailed and cleansed my mind”. It was an opportunity to refresh and take in nature and enjoy the finer things in life, like spending ample downtime in a living room watching the show Chernobyl and cult hit, Pineapple Express. Digressing, my mind never ceased to race as I knew at some point, I would get to cover the nostalgic wavy sound of, Malick Mcfly’s “SHogunz”. Now having dropped about a month ago, the single still reigns on as a lengthy yet substantial precursor to an album yet to come from Malick, featuring cleverly spit bars and entrancing production courtesy of, Red-Le. Everyone on this track shines on, and it’s for sure recommended listening for those of you that crave a warm familiar sound from traditional spitters. 

Red-Le, as mentioned prior, provides atmospheric production on the track. From the first second onward the spiraling soundscape of synths, key chords, rattling drums and abundant 808 patterns are reminiscent of the sheer intensity of childhood, where you stand eyes affixed to the TV as the sound of the PlayStation 2 boot up lingers on for just a second or two too long… but then you hear the chime of the game’s loading screen, relieved. Red-Le’s production lends itself to provide that ongoing feeling of pleasure and relief, and this before the aforementioned 808’s even hit. 

Malick’s vocals leap out toward the listener first as he spits a catchy and punch-y hook;

So roll the roll the doja pour a fuckin 4 up // If only for a moment try to retain focus // We movin like some nomads mobbin like some shogunz… // So roll the roll the doja pour a fuckin 4 up // If only for a moment try to retain focus // My niggas movin like some shogunz…

It’s a hook that’s almost cinematic, lyrically acting as a good prelude to introducing the number of features that accompany Malick. The hook is equally sonically fitting as an introduction for the selection of verses to come, as Malick’s vocals seemingly get watery and spaced out and the beat he spits upon gets more muted, only picking up right as Freddie X begins his verse.

Freddie’s vocal delivery is for lack of a better word cool and reminiscent of rappers of days old, something out of early 2000 boom bap. Lyrically Freddie acts as a wondrous and standout character yet humble in a way as he name drops his contemporaries that he shares the song with;

Make sure you when you spell my name that you don’t miss the i-e // Rhyme book looking fat like a box that’s filled with that hi-c… // Malick finna do damage to enemies that don’t stay out // Maikis is the guardian pardon how the end play out // So try to advance and an avalanche the standard take out // And we just wanna kick it like your average FIFA party…

Immediately following Freddie, Malick spits monster bars with bouncy, exuberant energy. Each line is one that hits your ears sharply yet gracefully– listening to Malick spit is like watching a prized fighter on a heavy bag; 

…A young seed searching for a fertile egg // Til i enter pearly gates, whether of old age or a .38 // And im lost in a purple haze // Niggas done forgot to have courtesy // when speakin on my name like i aint bout the realest motherfucker they done heard to date // ima hurt today then heal tomorrow // shogunz dont feel no sorrow // when they do what they have to do to even see tomorrow muthafucka

Breaking up the track, the soulful voice of VenomStayDrippin adds a layer of versatility as she sings the hook we’re familiar with just before Mystic Elder Maikis rounds out the track with a gritty voice and a softer register than the rest of the vocalists– like an acid tipped dart the delivery is sly and subtle yet not without impact, especially within certain lines; 

Jus woke up already tired of the bullshit // Jus woke up already loadin up the full clip // Bar bullets bar bullets // Beef too real how far could it // Go before these stars hooded in white robes come to yall hood and // Do a lil more than sip tea // Earthbound Shogunate no one is touchin this team // Word on the block Maikis is king // Nigga been pristine since his teens

It’s been mentioned before, but Malick Mcfly’s SHogunz is a piece of cinematic rap music that paints each artist in a prominent light that evokes sequences of action, grace, flawless teamwork and utterly finely tuned craftsmanship. Each artist’s verse brings a certain flavor to the track that overall acts as an integral piece to a puzzle that on further inspection, resembles something I want to describe as a,“Shroud of Turin” but instead of Jesus it’s Donnie Yen from IP Man. Run it up. 

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