Locksmith-The Green Box review
Locksmith never seems to exist on the same plane as rap music. In an era where everyone needs a slowed down DJ Screw-feeling salute to drank, Lock drops The Green Box mixtape and it’s most joyous and overpowering moment is the song Livin’ Loaded about getting “loaded from life” equipped with jabs at twitter and Maze references. It’s a beautiful song partially because of BrandUn Deshay who has been in a zone this year cranking out sweeping emotional soundscapes that smash on the chorus and lay back for the MC the rest of the time.
This set of songs marks is the most brutally personal Lock has every released and he knows it, stating from the first song “They say Lock you gotta make some party sh#t, rap about money and hoes and all that gaudy sh#t. you goin’ over N’s head they’ll never get it. Well excuse me for giving my people too much credit (Everything).” If you haven’t heard Locksmith before you might have the image of a Lupe Fiasco type of character, get that out of your mind. Lock spits with the wicked irritation of road rage. He never loses control fully but he’s always pushing his performance to the brink, where it needs to be. He sums it up perfectly “I got passion, they can’t teach that (Broken).” That passion is what keeps The Green Box from being too much of a burden on the listener.
This project seems like it was completed solely for the purpose of Locksmith getting rid of his internal baggage. He talks at length about his sister, his father, past relationships gone wrong while never pulling any punches. The song Bear with Me allows him to discuss the loss of his mother (a definite theme of the tape) “Conversations with my pops. Crying as he’s packing my mother’s clothes in a box. It’s hard to watch just seeing what kind of state he’s in. It never dawned on me…like what if he wants to date again?” It’s not even the most shocking moment on Green Box. Through all the topics, souls haunting Fleming Street, the shame he had of his Persian heritage, his sister working at the some hospital his mother died, nothing hits as hard as his admission regarding his sister’s sexuality. “…and I used to bash gay people until my sister was. It’s funny how people quick to condemn and if they do, it only means there’s something F’d up with them (Finish Line).” The most admirable trait The Green Box has is its dedication to learning and personal improvement. Not many people would have the guts to admit something like that and condemn where their own hatred came from but Locksmith puts it into the context of learning and understanding how much work he still has to do on himself.
It’s an unforgiving journey with sparse instrumentals from 9th Wonder, Mike TopNoch, Eric G, Drew Byrd, Ka$h, and Khrysis. Lyrically its part confession, part diary, part public service announcement and it’s his voice pounding away at all the painful seething negativity with a real purpose; so this isn’t a pop record in any way, shape, or form but don’t overlook the fact that NO ONE else is doing this. Other sober rappers wouldn’t dream of declaring that rappers doing drugs are jealous of their sobriety…Lock doesn’t seem to mind if The Green Box makes him enemies. He might rap about how much better he is than other rappers or he might talk about his panic attacks. I grab everything I can get from Locksmith because he’s that dangerous on the mic, he could diss your favorite rapper or he could diss himself.
Stream or download The Green Box below: