Right down to the badass cover (stunting on a wrecked Caddy…nice comment that posturing is all garbage anyway), Elucid‘s (short for elucidate?) Save Yourself is one of the more intriguing records I’ve heard this year. The debut record from the Queens emcee speaks to my desires in hip-hop: Music which challenges you, makes you think, makes you question things, and sounds and acts unlike anything you’ve heard before. That’s how you push the music forward, right?
And what an album it is. Elucid is a Queens emcee who has been around for a few years now, with several mixtapes, guest features, and collaborative efforts to his name, often with the terror-mad visionary himself, billy woods. Over the years Elucid has been sharpening his blades, with cerebral, hyper-lyrical tales of street life, conspiracy theories, little-told history, and more. He’s intelligent, paranoid, and poignant, and his music sounds like a terrifying, but liberating aural trip.
And he takes it to new heights here. Save Yourself sounds like Elucid locked himself in a room for 6 months with a few pounds of weed, a few tabs, a copy of The Anarchist’s Cookbook, and all the seasons of The Wire, and made music. The album is claustrophobic, unsettling, and torpid. It’s a record you won’t really comprehend… with each listen you pick up a new gem but sink further into the haze.
“Cold Again” is a standout example. This listen is harrowing but brief, like the life of the young killer who himself gets snuffed out over the course of the track. The intro alone is enough to unsettle you, with the ominous tones and the backwards and slowed vocals, but it’s Elucid’s incisive, precisioned words that come in for the kill, making for a soundtrack perfect for the coldest winter ever, which melts away into the darkness.
You won’t be able to save yourself with this one.