FREEWAY DREAMS EP - Viva Mescal
Stop being shocked at Mescal’s achievements. Yes, he is the CEO of East Of The River, yes he just got back from leading the crew on their second European mission, yes he engineers most of the group’s music and yes he still just dropped a fire ass new EP complete with visuals and features.
The concept of the album, falling asleep while driving and then dreaming of running along the freeway, is simple and well-depicted in both the record’s art, skits and music. The opening skit is simple but cinematic and it made me smile. That first track “From the Ground Up” told me off-bat that this is going to be a different Mescal record: we’re not stuck in boom-bap room anymore and the EOTR network can play in whatever kind of setting.
“Mercury Rises” is the kind of street violence poem that reminds me of Mescal’s older work in his past life as Mescalito but with his current level of virtuosity and polish. “Troublesome” is the album’s single and while the song is deft execution on smash, you have to check out this video and tell me that’s not the day in Europe you want with your friends. Muds One outdid himself with that one and that’s saying a lot with that dude.
Kiddo’s bassy machine gun raps grace “Poppin’ Off” leading to a lovely duet with Zzay and finally “Meet Me on the Eastside” with Zzay and most of the rest of EOTR to help finish off the album with one of the only songs I’ve heard my friends make that genuinely reminds me of something that Snoop and Nate Dogg or Warren G and the Dove Shack would make. Lex Esquivel produced all of these beats and so much of what's novel and fresh about this project's sound is due to him. That first beat knocked my socks off and the whole EP just never lets up. “Smoke to this” is an abused pitch for an album but let me tell you folks, I can’t wait to smoke to this shit next time I bump it.
Tristan "Tanjint Wiggy" Acker is a staff writer for Zus Entertainment, a Jooseboxx and Untapped Hip-Hop contributor, and member of the Inland Empire, California based nerdcore hip-hop group the West Coast Avengers.