Being a Brooklyn-born MC is a gift and a curse. The gift is credibility, from the borough’s reputation as a breeding ground of legends. The curse is the size of the shadows cast by the B.I.Gs and Jay’s as up-and-comers look to establish themselves in the game. On The Gorgeous Killer In Crimes Of Passion, A3C performer Fresh Daily provides a blueprint for others to follow. He deftly borrows from Brooklyn’s Hip-Hop history and sound, mixing in enough of his own unique quirks to establish himself as his own artist.
BKs influence is most obvious when listening to Fresh flow. There’s little trace of southern slow cadence in his lyrical style. Instead, Fresh brings a variety of NYC style flows to the table, from the staccato of “Superspectacular,” to more complicated polysyllabic couplets of opener “Wildlife.” The production also turn your clock back to 1996. Strings and jazz piano loops dominate the delectable collabo “Me First,” featuring Tanya Morgan. The pack trade barbs about their lyrical prowess over a mash-up of samples old-school heads will recognize. Overall, the production from stalwarts such as 88-Keys and DJ Illmind shows obvious homage to DJ Premier, and Fresh name checks him on the easy streets homage “Love Breakdown.”
While the production and flows may be familiar, Fresh’s lyrical content shows a more modern range than your typical mid-90s hood banger. FD gets into character with compadre Cool Calm Pete on “Bullet Tooth Tony,” as NYC gangsters, but it’s all done in a tongue-in-cheek style. Freed from reality, he explores more outlandish braggadocios rhymes and shows off his knowledge of Hanna-Barbera: “F. Dot the Quick Draw/Six Shooter McGraw five nine, fine rhymes hits like I’m six four.” Fresh occasionally mixes in some social commentary, such as on the jungle-rhythmed “Gutterman,” but most of the standout tracks focus on slaying weak MCs and talking shit.
It’s when The Gorgeous Killer gets a little too goofy that the album suffers its only wobbly moments. As an admitted gamer, it’s hard to slander a track honoring the greatest of 90s video games, but Fresh’s shots at Eco the Dolphin on “Video Gamin’” sound awkward in context of the rest of album. And mammary ode “Two in the Shirt,” (read: TITS,) also rings in as corny, although the delightful harp loop and some funny punchlines from Fresh keep it from being a complete waste.
But ultimately the good tracks on The Gorgeous Killer overwhelm the weak moments. And when you hear Fresh Daily reveal himself and his struggles to break through on “Crimes of Passion,” you can’t help but root for him to make it. With a little more focus, and some proper promotion, he’ll be the one casting shadows.
Previously Posted — Fresh Daily – “Untucked Nunchucks” Video