Words by Jeff Milo.
I’ve been eagerly anticipating an album from Goldzilla, and Immaculate Misconception does not disappoint. More modest than your average emcee, Goldzilla broke out manifestly on the scene under the self-effacing moniker, The Anonymous (with DJ Some Kid) with infectious tunes such as “…I Do My Other Thing” demonstrating his knack for stacking his bars with vivid imagery, pop-culture parody, and a mix of geek-culture and sports references.
What always struck me about Goldzilla was his consistent reiterations of his respect and fandom for his fellow rappers. I’d gotten to almost hounding him for updates about his next album over the last couple years, and he’d always instead just steer me toward a conversation about the brilliance of his Detroit peers such as Doc Waffles or other local hip-hop luminaries like Eddie Logix or Mister. Wouldn’t you know it- he got back into a sufficient groove in 2015, when he wound up joining Waffles as a new rap duo, Barter Boys. He followed that up by getting down to business at Assemble Sound with producer Logix to complete Immaculate Conception, which comes out this weekend. The album release party is Saturday, November 11th at POP+Offworld Arcade (more info).
This is one of the best meta-rap albums I have heard in a long time.
Logix’ deft production of ambient synths and soulful/spacey-samples, paired with woozy, bass drifts are together a subtly funky rhythmic conveyor for a cross-coating of the eyebrow-arching sketches of lightly distorted voice-overs, each offering a few ruminations on the experience of being a lyricist. The tracks filled with arranging words over beats in a studio setting, some of which might sound abstract out of context; elsewhere, are poetic and anecdotal orations on the ‘un-glamorous everyday life’ in a city such as Detroit.
Goldzilla finds fresh ways, on each track to meditate upon the stress of measuring up. Far from melodrama, braggadocio or incendiary fire, he keeps his delivery so smooth and erudition throughout the album, it opts instead to turn so many of the referenced “misconceptions” about the common experience of a contemporary creative rap lyricist on their head. The album offers 17 snapshots- some sincere or snarky, and some sweet or severe… as candid snapshots of his own perspective, packed with wordplay as a re-configuration of what’s reality in the face of unreal expectations.
Musing on measuring up, he name-drops several sports icons, from basketball and football, to hockey, and nimbly threads metaphors around quarterbacks, computers, demystified “street cred” and 80’s screwball teen movies, (“No Parties In The Penthouse”). On tracks like “Stay Limber,” as well as the lead single, “All Day,” Goldzilla’s acrobatic vocabulary and strong sensibility for rhythmic recitation puts him in the class of other outside-the-box-thinkers and crafty contemplators like Chicago’s Open Mike Eagle and/or Milo. Although the impact that his allies have had on him (like Waffles and Logix) can certainly be traced, he remains distinctly forthright in several verses and has that heart of his revealed sleeve for you to see.
“Beautiful” is an exemplary track of Logix fusing samples that sound like fractured gospel, thereby augmenting the aesthetic of a soul finding its purpose. In fact, on that same track, he raps,
“I’d sell my soul to have a soul to sell / slide like Ovezchkin when I parallel / I park on streets I have no business havin’ business at / switchin’ outfits until I get that right shade of black…”
The modesty mentioned earlier can be at risk of morphing into self-doubt. However- this album kicks the doubt door off its frame and finally opens things up, in revealing Goldzilla to the world whereupon he is offering his loquacious outlook- one unabashedly laced with lots of astute references to athletes and comic book heroes. “Nothing matters more than the Matter that’s inside you…” he says, as the track winds to its conclusion. It’s one of the most beautiful moments on the record.
What his lyrics reveal is that he’s steadily spent his life cataloging the characteristics of legends, be they real or fantasy. His notebook is filled with notes, about Darth Vader or 60’s Lakers forward Elgin Baylor; and Immaculate Conception, with the propulsive production of Logix (and mixes by Charlie Beans), it sets a tone of resilience, valiancy.
“The truth doesn’t always mean everything,” he says in the album’s closing track, defying you. It seems, that you can’t contain the comprehensive multitudes that comprise all of Goldzilla in just one album, but this album comes close…
GOLDZILLA + EDDIE LOGIX Record Release Party
Detroit Cydi, Cousin Mouth, Mister
Saturday, Nov. 11th
Doors @ 7 PM
Music @ 9 PM
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