Brainsick artist Z, also of Firing Squad, follows up Dikulz’ Concrete Snow Angel with his own album release, Block Eyez, released on November 29th. The album is Z’s own follow up to his previous album Pirana, and is 20 tracks strong, with features from Block Eyez, Redro Killson, Lon Gotti, Mami OG, Playboy The Beast, Tsunami and many more, plus production from Kamikazi, Jedi Beats, Kato On The Track, Prodlem and more.The title for the album could be interpreted several ways, first and foremost, as one of Z’s homies from P Bloc, in Moses Lake, WA. But for what the music means, this album is told through Z’s own eyes, and is a depiction of the surroundings and trappings of Z’s lifestyle.
Z gives Block Eyez the introduction he needs on the intro song, produced by Traj TEN Hardie, who provides bass-heavy, pounding production for him to spit gritty, venomous bars. Z gets in to it on the next track called ‘1 Time 4 Tha’, a heart-felt song about Z’s loved ones lost to the streets or in jail. His delivery evokes a sense of poignancy on a melancholy West-Coast inspired beat by Jay P Bangz. Z doesn’t hide his feelings, as can be said for ‘See U Soon Bloc’. Twisted Rob provides a somber beat on which Z can heard almost brought to tears, as he reminisces on the times spent with Block Eyez before he passed.
To understand more about Z, ‘Brand New’, produced by Kamikazi, goes into detail about Z’s purpose to grafting for that next paycheck by any means, to provide for his family, gradually building a future for his wife and kids. The song is also about taking no handouts and standing as a man to provide for yourself. Both Z and Kamikazi deliver terrific double time flows on this one.
If Jay-Z made the song cry, then Z did that just that as well as make it cough, on ‘Strap Cough’, produced by Beats By HT. Another melancholy track, Z conveys the pain he is going through, battling against the urge to beef with rivals. Something he’d rather not get in to, like the street hustle, but as he along with SG, Lon Gotti and Block Eyez prove on ‘Hood Rich’, sometimes you have no choice but to get paid any how.
Z details the street game on several tracks such as ‘Break It Down’, featuring Lon Gotti and fellow Firing Squad artist Redro Killson, produced by Jedi of Firing Squad. Z turns mathmetician on ’80 On The Dash’, as he calculates the profits that are to be made from his hustle. Another song that is also a favourite, ‘Money Right’, featuring Mr Chuko and Scooby Doo on a Z10 Beats instrumental, is about the respect that comes with gang-banging and getting the money. A superb hook from Z, and the production, again influenced by West-Coast style beats, is the kinda Low-Rider, laid back sound that would of fit right on a Dr. Dre album. They don’t come more gangsta than Mr Chuko and Scooby Doo neither.
Not the only track on the album influenced by the West Coast sound, ‘4 Door’ produced by Ant Beats, and ‘No Bueno’, produced by Jedi. ‘4 Door’ uses synths perhaps inspired by, whilst the beat on ‘No Bueno’ is suspenseful, slow piano keys and a boom-bap-esque kicking beat. Z and Block Eyez show no fucks as they thug it out with lyrics taking aim at rivals. Z and MD 2020 bring the action on ‘Show Up N Show Out’, a hard hitting, commanding banger produced by Jedi, and is literaly quite the soundtrack for beating down the block, creeping on a come up.
Several tracks worthy of a mention include ‘Wit The Shit’, produced by Prodlem, which is a chilling, melancholy yet hard trap beat, containing murderous lyricism and aggressive delivery from both Z and long time Brainsick collaborator Bleezo. ‘Air It Out’ is aimed at those who don’t speak up on issues they have, rather moving silent. Z, Playboy The Beat and Firing Squad’s Mami OG pull their cards and dare them to air out their problems. ‘Wake Up Still High’, featuring Tsunami, is a catchy banger produced once again by Jay P Bangz, and is an anthem for the smokers, as then two rappers talk about their cheddar, that being money and staying high all day and every day.
Without further ado, take to your streaming service of choice, whether that be Amazon, iTunes or Spotify, and let Z cast his visions, witnessed by his own eyes, on to you. There are tracks that will definitely resonate, whether that is the pain of loss and the heartache, or the gruelling graft of working 9 to 5 in whatever occupation you may choose. A personal tribute from Z to Block Eyez, this album is more introspective, but yet Z displays his skills to the fullest, song writing, lyricism and flows.
Purchase or stream the album in full below and leave us your feedback in the comments section.
GET A 9 TO 5
GO BACK TO DRAWING BOARD
SUPER DUPER STAR – Just like Dikulz, Z has a plethora of releases to his name, including the Raw Servings mixtape, Mr Phuck U, To Marz and Back EP, In All Honesty and Pirana. There is no denying Z’s impeccable lyrical ability, he can be quite the mathmetician at times (‘112z’, ’80 On The Dash’), but perhaps the slang and street lingo may go over your head if you are not attuned to that. What I would liken Z to is the likes of 2Pac, the way he can really convey his emotions in his voice, whether it is anger or sadness. You can’t help but sympathise, perhaps emphasize if you really can relate.
STAND OUT TRACKS:
1 Time 4 Tha
High 4 It
Air It Out
See U Soon Bloc
Artwork by: Redikuluz Concepts