With unmistakable flows and hilarious tongue-in-cheek pop-culture references, Ski Mask The Slump God’s mixtape is the needle in the SoundCloud haystack.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past two years, you will be familiar with the term “SoundCloud rapper”. In a subgenre of hip-hop, originating from the free audio distribution platform SoundCloud, many artists have propelled themselves to music stardom. What contributed to the meteoric rise of this new age rap is the fact anyone can buy a £20 mic, download some free recording software and then upload it to the platform. In doing this, the overheads are reduced to zero and the middleman is cut. Naturally, in no time, the genre became oversaturated with dime-a-dozen, face tatted kids dropping a triplet flow over rattling hi-hats and fuzzy bass (I’m looking at you Lil Pump). Don’t get me wrong these songs have their purpose, but when everyone is using the same formula to find success, where does the motivation come from to try something different?
Enter Ski Mask The Slump God, a Broward County native who, along with XXXTENACION, was one of the first to blow up out of the thriving Florida rap scene. Blending the SoundCloud template with a flavour all his own, Ski Mask has established himself as one of the most refreshing and original artists to emerge from the scene. His sophomore mixtape, Beware the Book of Eli, has only cemented this.
Kicking the project off to an explosive start is the high octane hit, lost souls. Ski threatens to drown his adversaries in the notorious river of lost souls throughout the track. However, he should have reserved this fate for his compatriot Rich The Kid, who provides one of the weakest, most generic features on the whole mixtape. Ironically, this is second worst only to another one of his features seen on the track bukkake. The 20-minute project then surges at a breakneck speed, providing countless references to pieces of popular culture that have influenced Ski and his music.
The main highlight in this fast, hard-hitting mixtape is the song coolest monkey in the jungle, referring to THAT incident that involved H&M last year. The song is only heightened by the feature of Sah Babii, who provides the most enjoyable feature in the project by far. He delivers what is my favourite line of any project this year – “I used to live in the jungle, I got my thumb in her butthole”. This line raised the bar to heights which were unobtainable for every other feature on the project.
What personally draws me to Ski is simple, you know when you’re listening to a Ski Mask The Slump God song. He has his own original flows and quirky style which is hard to find in such an oversaturated genre. Make no mistake, if you are looking for a thought-provoking project that pushes the boundaries of lyricism then you are in the wrong place. However, Ski Mask is very aware of this and almost mocks it as if he knows that music doesn’t have to be lyrically phenomenal to be enjoyable. Sometimes you just want fun, easy to listen to, turn-up music to get you in the party mood – Ski Mask’s realm of expertise. After all, you wouldn’t listen to Father John Misty to get you hyped, would you?