Damn I Wanna Leave/Damn I Wanna Stay/Damn I Don’t Wanna Be The N*gga That’ll Go Astray. -Fuckin’ Idols
Men Are Only Faithful To Their Egos/Is That A Weapon Or A Tool?/Let Me Prove I’m An Exception To The Rule. -I.O.U.
I found out about Locksmith about two months ago. I’ve been listening to his most recent album A Thousand Cuts for the last month and a half. In that short amount of time he’s quickly risen to the top of my short list of “Favorite Rappers,” maybe even “Favorite Artists.” It’s really hard to choose a “favorite” of something but here’s how I know Locksmith is there…
Have you ever read a book, finished it…and then the next day or later that afternoon picked it up and re-read the entire thing, again? I haven’t either – not even with my favorite book, “Chronicle of a Death Foretold,” by the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But with Locksmith’s album, that’s exactly what I’ve done over and over again. I don’t skip any songs or fast forward through anything – I listen to the album from start to finish, every time. This has been mind blowing for me because it’s the first album I’ve done this with. Oh, and there’s been other favorites, “Friday Night Lights” by J. Cole, “Is Your Love Big Enough” by Lianne La Havas, “Acid Rap” by Chance The Rapper, “1999” by Joey Bada$$ and “Channel Orange” by Frank Ocean. I’ve loved each one of these albums and listened to the songs a lot – but never from start to finish on any type of regular basis.
I’ve also been stuck on ATC so much that I haven’t even bothered to venture out and listen to any of his previous releases. Which is another thing that I’ve always done in the past. Musically and lyrically, I feel like I’ve gone straight to the top. I know, eventually, I will listen to the rest of his discography, but right now ATC is just that good – that I can’t.
The album is personal, powerful, and pure. His delivery is flawless, clear and concise. Some would probably categorize Locksmith as a conscious rapper, but to me he’s just real. This realness can also be felt when having a quick conversation with him – I know because I felt it when I met him (pictured, above) at his album release show in San Francisco in April. Big thanks to 2DopeBoyz (the only blog I go to discover new hip hop) and Team Backpack for putting on an amazing event! He is humble, down to earth and genuinely enjoys interacting with his fans.
There isn’t a song on the album that I don’t like, but some of the ones I really like are: Who I Am, Hardest Song Ever (first song I heard by him before the album dropped), Your Loss, I.O.U., Why You Leave and Hip Hop. The track “Fuckin’ Idols” is one that I used to consider my least favorite up until a couple weeks ago. Last week, Locksmith used social media to let fans decide which video he would shoot next. Voting ended on Friday, he made the music video on Saturday and released it today! I think it’s pretty cool that my new current favorite – “Fuckin’ Idols” is the track we (the fans) chose!
An aspect about the video that stands out to me is that when the music speeds up, in certain parts of the song, the imagery in the video also speeds up. The video really compliments the song. Another thing that I’ve noticed about his music videos (at least the ones I’ve seen) is that it’s mostly him, alone, accompanied only by the music. In videos I think the imagery associated can be distracting and can make it difficult to follow the lyrics and pay attention to the song. Locksmith’s videos don’t do that. Another plus.