“Phantasy Star” sets the tone with that classic Dreamcast opening sound effect and a vocal sample that talks about the preconditioned mind due to external factors and triggers. The production is quite moody and dark which is perfect for Malcolm’s engaging tale about growth, empathy and his struggles as an indie artist. He perfectly sums it as follows “working through my last days as a freaking starving artist/went through some withdrawals,now I’m making a deposit/Logic is telling me I should be back in college/doesn’t make a whole lot of sense trying to save the world” and comes tot he conclusion that it’s best to take it one day at a time. This is followed by “Adult Swim” and starts off with the classic Vision line from the Boondocks show. Over the dreamy and ethereal soundscape, Malcolm delivers a fiery performance ripe with numerous pop references that link MJ’s fadeaway, Star Wars and Walter Man. The track is tied up by a clip from Pulp Fiction before J. Nolan comes into the scene with his distinct flow and bravado-driven raps. “Shenmue City” has a retro lofi/synthwave feel and follows Malcolm as he figuratively makes his way through a mysterious city knocking down the opposition with lines like “Blame these bubblegum rappers that put blow in the pop/If this goes over your head, then you dumber than rocks/How you trying to say you fly when you don’t know how to walk”. The track is bolstered by a rich vocal scratching that employs a line from Public Enemy that accentuates the rapper’s passionate claim.
“Nardis”(Train of Thought)” is a jazz-infused futuristic track made up of a rich texture, warm bassline and punchy drum grooves. The result is as solemn as they come and fits Malcolm’s knack for painting verbal pictures rich with colours and imagery. Overall, it’s a brilliant lyrical flexing session for the rapper and he hits the bullseye with it. “VMU” sees Malcolm teaming up with Randall & AhmadMusic and the title refers to the Visual Memory Unit designed for the Sega Dreamcast home console. Over the sublime and ethereal backdrop, the artists take us through their many memories give us a vivid glimpse and remind us to always take the good with the bad and not forget to check the VMU. The track progresses into a profound piece where a narrator talks about job security and the true meaning of security in a man. Next up is “Amethyst Nights” a downtempo rock-infused track made up of rich guitar riffs and moody pads. Here, Malcolm takes us through the ups and downs of his journey with lines like “I still got a long way to go/Gotta get this money so I can share with my bros/Tonight I write rhymes, tomorrow is a show/Building up the craft, mastering the flow” and the realization that the job is never done and there is always one mission to be completed.
The project closes out with “Spi-D Rok Outro” which is a hilarious verbal credit roll of everyone involved with the project. In a nutshell, Dreamcast Chronicles is as nostalgic as it gets and gives listeners a mix of personal tales with extensive pop culture references tinged with the usual rap bravado with a dash of humour as well.