Ign Inglor-Gawdspeed Mixtape Review
The brush back that dampened the drill scene party was not centered on the obvious criticism (a lot of these artists sound the same) but the notion of recklessness. After all, the Midwest’s most notable current musical export drill is trap music with more violence and less responsibility coming from a part of the country with a lot of violence. Any reasonable person could get stuck in the unresolved symbolic gun shot sound effects and snarl, not being able to enjoy the music.
Ibn Inglor’s new Gawdspeed mixtape is exactly the project to fill those intellectual Illinois holes. I am not trying to set up an oppositional argument that Inglor is the anti-Keef or Reese. It’s not that simple and that’s the point. When you talk about the mid-west you can’t pin one sound on it. Drill is nowhere to be found on Gawdspeed, the production style is a haunted house full of distorted background voices, the space of cloud rap turned eerie and frightful. Every track sounds like a piece fitting in a puzzle because 90% of it is handled by either PGMW or E.N.O.N Jacobs. The same way Inglor uses Gawdspeed to grow his narrative they use it to grow the mood from the hazy humming thump of Hermes(Runnin’) to a slow pounding dread on the final tracks Bless Us and Lost.
This is not horrorcore by the way. If you really look at horrorcore in the vein of Chino XL or the Gravediggaz a lot of what made the horror was a fictionalization of murder and death (Kool Keith with a shopping cart of body parts). Reality haunts every track of Gawdspeed, its best tracks especially. Hermes(Runnin’) is steeped in the metaphor of castles with high walls, gods, wolves, and kings but he pulls all that back to reveal one of the darkest lines of the project “I pardon all my problems then gather souls with my glock again.” He’s not glorifying it stating within the same song “We stand at home, we stand for hope we stand before the reverends rope to hang us all and let us know.” Every song is a step in drawing a three dimensional picture of the violence that outsiders only hear about through think pieces. Inglor doesn’t just paint a personal picture and a metaphorical one; he builds the environment around him on Broken Lungs and Cold Winter. These songs are so dense you may only catch pieces at first but every word matters “My mamas feeling the passion crying cuffing her children gunshots dimming the buildings (Broken Lungs),” while painting pictures he still challenges himself with imagery and wordplay “Hood life filled with many carnivores, apes gone wild just to cause a war, send they ducks and they duck…(Cold Winter).”
Gawdspeed is a mixtape that’s strength is its ultimate weakness. Its fourteen tracks with one that is a minute long atmospheric continuation of the haunted house environment (Ludeinter), the tape shouldn’t feel long and doesn’t after repeated listens. Initially the songs can feel so serious they are dead weight, not catchy at all, nothing about it will remind you of the Future dominated MTV Jams of the week but if you value hip hop that’s tough, dense, and thoughtful than you can make space on your mp3 player for Gawdspeed without a doubt. On the other hand if you’d rather just have fun and sing along with the ad libs you’re looking for something else. Hip hop is a universe big enough for all these things; in fact, it needs all these things to remain healthy. Make this mixtape part of your balanced diet and you’ll know what I mean.
Stream or download Gawdspeed below: