At some point in its short history, Hip-Hop became extremely diverse.
Back in the day, that means the late 80’s and 90’s for our readers who call Wiz Khalifa a throwback artist, Hip-Hop success was largely limited to artists who had “street-credibility.” Sure, there were artists who slipped through the cracks. Fresh Prince was probably one of the most notable artists who found success in Hip-Hop without compromising who he truly was.
Perhaps Will Smith held a crystal ball that could peer into the future. Or, maybe artists like himself and Shock G were actually Dungeon Masters from the 2010’s who traveled back in time, utilizing quantum mechanics to build a time machine to travel through dimensions to the late 1980’s to plant the seed of diversity in Hip-Hop. A place, which still exists because time is actually a dimension, and space is relative to time, meaning we’ve been bamboozled into thinking that time is a measurement.
Which brings me to the topic at hand…
LEX is originally from Taiwan, but lives in Oakland, California. She considers herself to be a Nerdcore Hip-Hop Artist, but after listening to her new album, Raging Ego, it’s hard for me to place a label on the high-energy femcee.
This album does a great job of blending multiple genres together. If there was an alternative title for this album, it would be: Raging Gumbo – “a mix of styles, lyrics, and production that no one would expect to sound so great together, until you hear it and your ears craving for more of this delicious flavor.”
The album begins with a song whose lyrics stay true to the egocentric theme of the album, “Peep Game”.LEX sets the tone for the album by spitting game in a confident tone:
Ladies and gentlemen and nonconformists/
Please, direct your attention to my performance/
Now train your line of vision on me like the eye of Horus/
And you shall find that my metaphorical dong’s enormous
However, “Peep Game” also contains a motivational message for people who are frustrated and feel neglected by the very individuals they are trying to reach. As LEX says, “Confront your enemies by telling ’em to peep game”. Don’t be fooled by LEX‘s self-label of her album as a Hip-Hop album. This album is filled with Indie, Punk, and Rock overtones. A track that stands out as such is the Mikal kHill-produced“Psych Major”.
On “Psych Major”, LEX the Psychologist informs her listeners:
I know exactly what you want, I know exactly what you need/
I know exactly where you’re from, I know exactly what you mean/
Cause I’m a Psych major and I’m a mind-reading machine/
(Remind me not to attempt to fabricate anything while talking to LEX…’cause she’s a mind-reading machine!)
Other tracks like “Sales Freak” take a fun tone, as LEX, in true Oaktown fashion, touts her skills as a hustler and saleswoman who can make you “put your wallets in the air and wave ’em around like you just don’t care.”
My favorite track on the album is “Mistakes” produced by Incooperative. The irony of this song is genius, considering that it’s on an album called Raging Ego. LEX admits her mistakes, while apologizing for them at the same time:
I’m sorry to all the kids that I tormented/
Who never thought their childhood bully would be repentant/
I can tell you I will never know how much it hurt/
Would it make you feel better to know I got what I deserved?
I had to replay the song three times to actually listen to the lyrics, because her flow on this song rode the melodic production by Incooperative so well. I love a track that can incorporate the structure of classic Hip-Hop, and “Mistakes”does exactly that.
LEX is in her own lane with Raging Ego. Even if you aren’t a fan of Nerdcore Hip-Hop, this album will have replay value for listeners across all spectrums. It’s creative and diverse and the Lexicon artist shows off her skill and versatility on the project with confidence.
Do yourself a favor. Tomorrow morning when you wake up, put your ego to the side, and buy Raging Ego. WARNING: You’re going to buy it sooner or later anyways, when you go to a LEX the Lexicon Artist performance.
Don’t be surprised when your wallet is in the air.
Raging Ego releases June 6th, 2018. You can pre-order the album on Bandcamp HERE.