“Darius, you cool with us,” two tiny voices intone at the outset of “Great Job!,” which appears midway through Darius Lusher, the latest longplayer from (and latest pseudonym for) local outsider emcee Karmessiah. But the rapper tuts — “Like I need approval.”
Though Karmessiah largely operates outside of a need for validation — and the more traditional mores of Columbia’s hip-hop scene — he certainly doesn’t want for it. Following three well-received releases, Darius finds Karmessiah making mostly subtle tweaks to his dynamic and provocative lo-fi rap.
Darius’ beats match the techno-lush psychedelics of Karm’s previous backing beds. Sometimes caustically spartan (the tinny “Nigiri Gang”) and other times sensually vibrant (the verdant “Companionship”), the new album sounds a little more hi-fi than Karm’s earlier releases, and while it can’t be read as a stab at reaching a wider audience, the improvements are understated and cunning. [online copy corrected]
But while the tweaks are subtle, they open up avenues for appreciating Karmessiah’s killer diction. A great rhymer with a keen ear for wordplay, Karm has occasionally gotten lost in his own sonic world. Darius’ tighter beats make Karm’s flow — off-kilter (think: Das Racist’s Heems, or Cadence Weapon) and weird (think: DOOM) — stand out all the more. The sound makes lines like “Atypical rap guy, all I spit is truth / A typical rap guy, all you spit is jewels,” and “I’m strep / Better yet / I’m polio,” feel less idle boasts than conquering philippics.
Karm’s still grimy and lewd, and his sundry eloquence serves as unflinching satire of rap’s underlying misogyny. On the title track, he trades great verses with Giant Jihad, who turns in one of Darius’ best couplets: “Baby, I’m a sizzurp-sipping pimp / like Bun B,” Jihad hollers, sounding a bit like Danny Brown. “I’m a real lady killer / Ted Bundy.”
“How you gonna put me in a box now, bitch? / I’m out it,” Karm boasts on “Great Job!.”
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
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Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
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