Cinoevil is not new to us and after dropping a plethora of singles he returns to our site with his new LP entitled Been on the Map. The 10-track body of work sees him working with a handful of emcees and producers who all help add their individual quota to the project.
The project opens up with the brooding track “The Shelf”, which sees Cinoevil stating his mission parameters as clearly as he can. From focusing on his goals, separating the detractors from the real ones and finding his true North. Lines like “It will be ok, everyday but it’s all the same, nothing ever change, they stay taking everything/Look me in my face, in my face, it tells everything, ain’t no need to question me” shows a mix of skepticism and acceptance of what lies in front of him as he takes the necessary steps to become a better man. This is followed by “Convoluted”, a reflective tune that dives into his daily struggles, personal loss and the changes he had to go through in life. Bolstered by a moody and solemn backdrop, Cinoevil takes us deep into his mind and shares some intimate details about his not-so-glorious life. “Another Count” starts off with a lofi piano riff and obscure vocal sample layered over a crunchy drum loop. Here, Cinoevil calls up Illschmitt and Benny The Butcher for a three-man verbal assault on the opposition. Benny leads the charge with his commanding flow and vivid lyrical schemes followed by Cinoeil’s laidback flow while Illschmitt helps close it up with his slightly pitched flow.
On the Statik Selektah-produced track “Play 4 Keeps”, Cinoevil links up with Charlie Wolfe for a solid verbal sparring session. The dark solemn backdorp sets the tone for the emcees as they trade bars effortlessly. “Raid The Prison” employs a moody and experimental soundscape made up of airy atmospheric textures and an of-kilter drum groove. Here, Cinoevil pours out his heart on wax with lines like “Homie told me spit it till your muthafucking lips rotten/And switch topics if they ain’t hear you ‘cause this process could make you lose a man in that faded mirror”. Next up is the cinematic “N64 Section at Blockbuster” featuring emcee MorsKamo. The duo gets down to business with their vivid lyrical schemes filled with thought-provoking and nonconformist wordplay. “When Everything Falls Apart” is a solemn piano-driven soundscape and here, cinoevil pens an open letter to his friends, family and listeners alike. He reflects on the inner pain, and emotional scars issued by naysayers and detractors while joyfully basking in the warmth his loved ones gave him. Overall, the track shows a different side to the man as he delivers his lines in a refreshing candour.
The project closes out with “Kingda Ka” featuring Milly. The track produced by Khezie Beats flips a classic sample into a solemn backdrop that fits Cinoevil’s insightful bars about love, loyalty and respect and the late Milly comes through on the last verse with a similar theme capped by his impassioned flow. Overall the project is cohesive and sticks to its core theme throughout like the emotion-laden “Bring Me Down” and even the spoken word interlude “No Soy Interlude”. The production is punchy, engaging and cinematic while Cinoevil’s songwriting is rich and edgy as well.