Mixtape Review-Bittersweet Victory by Noelz Vedere
So a really long and interesting Wiz Khalifa mixtape drops (28 Grams) that redefines his persona yet again, Gucci Mane sends out his best mixtape in months (Brick Factory) and I’m talking about Noelz Vedere. When the music was all in one massive playlist my very first reaction was…who the F is this kid?
Bittersweet Victory is a ten song laser melting everything around it. Like a robbery it takes over your whole world and then leaves, the difference is your not missing anything in fact you’ve gained. As robberies go the take only needs to get split 2 ways: our linguistic contortionist narrator and Alex Isaak who is on a mission to blow your speakers. Let Me Burn is when they kick in the door; the bass as pulverizing as Noelz take no prisoners verse construction (dude rhymes bone marrow with Pharaoh). After the lauding of personal abilities Noelz slides some very rewindable lines into songs like Bittersweet “What’s celebration that comes with worse vendettas?” He manages to deconstruct the infamous Chicago violence and death in a very personal way that never turns preachy.
Vedere and Isaak never give you time to settle. As furious as Let Me Burn is Blackout takes it to another level; Alex puts together a ratchet feeling glow stick dancing backdrop that would make DJ Mustard smile while Noelz spits like he’s in a rap battle with the song finding time to call himself a light skinned Danny Glover. If you are waiting for the slow song this ain’t it.
How many people would Freddie Gibbs jump on a track for and not try to murder? On the song Out of Focus Gibbs waits until Noelz is done blacking out into his verses to add his trademark melodic sneer of a hook. Does any bigger co-sign exist? Jay might co-sign you but he gave a hearty thumbs up to Lady Sovereign and she was just awful. Freddie Gibbs doesn’t just hate Young Jeezy he hates sunshine, youtube clips of kittens eating ice cream and the feeling of laundry right out of the drier. This is the damn dark lord of gangsta rap giving a thumbs up to a young prospect I’d never heard of. That’s a great sign. Gibbs isn’t the only important guest by the way Sir Michael Rocks comes by on High Class and continues his crusade for 2014 guest verse MVP.
It’s all the tracks that just get eaten and digested with a battle rappers mentality that make songs like So Blessed a fresh counterpoint and not cheesy or overboard. You can hear Noelz voice amidst the kids in the chorus and feel him shedding layers of mounting frustration. As much as Garden of Eden stews in debt, death, and sin that beat break and chorus make it irresistible and in spite of itself…joyous.
Bittersweet Victory is so compact and moves so fast that it doesn’t have time for flaws. It puts each song in a shot glass and you just take it. After the last track, Fallen Soldiers, spirals down its own confusion and anguish to its end point you have to assess what your left with; a fiery introduction with a lot of potential behind it. I don’t think this is the Noelz Vedere masterpiece I think it’s just a start. As long as he sticks with Alex Isaak Chicago might have another major name on its hands. If it doesn’t it certainly has another dope MC on its hands.
Stream or Download Bittersweet Victory below: