All jokes aside, Sleaze is one of my heroes–one of the artists in this city who has inspired me and forced me to grow. His most recent project, Heavenly Devilish, is some of the best music to come out of this city, and if you haven’t heard it you are seriously missing out.
Sleaze – Summer Fresh XE (BlocSonic)
All jokes aside, Sleaze is one of my heroes–one of the artists in this city who has inspired me and forced me to grow. His most recent project, Heavenly Devilish, is some of the best music to come out of this city, and if you haven’t heard it you are seriously missing out. What we have here, though, is a re-release of some early Sleaze, circa 2009, on the first disc, and some remixes on disc 2. Just Plain Sounds was still together at this point, and for real, if you know Sleaze and his sound, you can tell this is from the past. The beats are more basic, the rhymes more enthusiastic. He even has a song on here called “Stunna Shades” (which is one of the most fun records on here, by the way). I haven’t seen Sleaze wear sunglasses in forever though… and that is what is most clear on this project. This isn’t the Sleaze of today; this is a look back into his path, a window into his soul. From the story of Skillz stealing the show on “Tell Em” to the prideful horns of “Sleaze Is Here,” Disc 1 is a period piece.
Disc 2, the remixes, is clever in its use of new beats and sounds, and I doubt that Sleaze would have written the same lyrics to any of the instrumentals that he ended up laying the first go around. Fortunately, most of the remixes are actually better than the originals, which in my opinion is a strong sign of his growth as an artist. Bottom line: you have two options. Either you download this and listen to it, then download Heavenly Devilish… or download Heavenly Devilish, then when you have run through that and want to go on a Sleaze binge, download this. Either way, we all win… and then end up waiting for Heavenly Devilish 2.
This project was described as “for the party nights and getaway.” I feel that. I discovered, though, that not all of this is for me, as I don’t boogie. I don’t get down with that happy space shit. It’s just not me. Does that mean this is a bad project? NO. This is actually all pretty well put together. Track 2, “Vital Fade,” is smooth; “Indie Lord Wilson” is pretty good too. There’s not much I can say about this one because not much of it speaks to me, but if you’re approaching this like I did, as an uninformed listener without expectations, I would suggest that if you don’t like something on here, skip it. The next track might be the left turn you were looking for. And for real, Wise Inquisition isn’t a bad lyricist at all. He sounds confident, comfortable, and capable, no matter what the track’s vibe may be. I would call this interesting, but only if you’re interested.
Known as the hardest-working man in RVA hip hop, Black Liquid hosts two local radio shows–Thursday nights 11pm-1am on WDCE 90.1 FM, and Saturday nights (aka Sunday mornings) 1am-3am on WRIR 97.3 FM–organizes the bi-monthly Face Melt Fridays at Strange Matter (next one is scheduled for September 26), and teaches creative writing to 7th and 8th graders at Sabot at Stony Point School. He’s also a prolific emcee, having released nearly two dozen mixtapes either as a solo artist or with his compatriots in The New Juice Crew over the past several years. Download his music at NoiseTrade, and keep an eye out for his new album, coming this fall.