Prolific West Coast emcee Showtime Ramon continues his musical push with a brand new release  Speed. The 7-track body of work is a collaborative project with Brooklyn, NY producer  ProjectPorter which blends the hard-hitting aesthetics of the Big Apple with the expressive swagger of the Sacramento, CA native. The title is a subtle homage to the classic Japanese animation Speed Racer.


 The project starts with the scenic “Overdrive” with its triumphant pads and dark strings. The urgency in the track is amplified by Showtime Ramon’s commanding flow and off-the-cuff lyrics like  “In a 2 seater, I don’t slow down for no one/Bitch I’m on the up, I put em down like Shogun/ I was built to win when the ??? got a Gold gun/Busting on the beat like Kwame Brown did in 0-1”. The next track “Jade Cargill”, is a cinematic track with soft percussions and solemn bass-driven bass stabs. Here, Showtime Ramon delivers a fiery performance ripe with pop and wrestling references, especially to the titular character of the Female WWE Superstar. The fun continues with “Tightrope”, a mellow downtempo piano-laden track ripe with dynamic sample chops and sound effects that punctuate Showtime’s graphic rhyme schemes. Lovers of the legendary Goldeneye video game would recognize the sample on “Cradle”. I must commend ProjectPorter’s production style as he has stayed consistent thus far with a dark, brooding style that sounds like a mix of Alchemist and Daringer with a unique twist.


The production of “Baby, I’m a Star” is rich and uses bright strings with sparkling stabs and short drum fills that resolve the tension. In usual fashion, Showtime sticks to familiar themes with an unapologetic, no-holds-barred lyricism that would leave a smirk on the faces of listeners. Lines like “Hit like Jim Kelly/I break her back like I’m Bolo” show a pure irreverent attitude and extensive use of pop culture references to drive home his points. The project comes to a close with “Yellow Diablo” and “Ken Griffey Jr”. The former starts with a sample from The Dark Knight movie and proceeds into a brooding piece anchored by Showtime’s bouncy flow and stream-of-consciousness raps while the latter’s melancholy ambiance stays prevalent throughout the 2-minute duration. Here, Showtime takes his time to discredit his detractors with bars like “They was talking shit not they in the back, looking tentative/I put in the work so it’s over time I get credited/Lyrically prolific, Kobe Bryant competitive”.  He doesn’t let up and continues with a blend of Wrestling and video game references with a touch of braggadocio.


Speed feels like a stopover to a bigger project and serves to whet Showtime Ramon’s listeners for the time being. The project is cohesive and filled with dense lyricism that hardcore lovers of rap would enjoy. My only grouse is the lack of Speed Racer samples throughout the project. Nevertheless, add this to your hardcore hiphop playlist.



Stream on Apple Music


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