Slik Jack and producer Manzu Beatz team up for BLUE COLLAR CRIMEZ, a 12-track body of work that explores the underbelly of the big city. With Manzu Beatz on the production and Slik Jack handling microphone duties with a host of special guests ranging from Toronto’s Daniel Son and Asun Eastwood and New York City’s Snotty and Bloo Azul as well as their homies G-Fam Black, Crotona P, Mike Titan and New Villain. DJ’s DJ Decepta and Tone Spliff also make appearances lending their turntablism to the project.
“INTRO” sets the tone with a cinematic sample that explores the lives of corner boys doing what they do best. “WEOWTSIDE” takes listeners deep into Slik Jack’s stomping grounds from a bird’s eye view. We get to see the underhanded schemes, shady characters, the movers and shakers and bystanders. Lines like “Forever loyal to the dark side, don’t you question my allegiance/Clarks on the beamer dashboard by a bubble head of Jesus/Heavy hitters in the speakers/In the physical they squeamish” capture the scenery followed by Snotty’s graphic lyrical schemes.“PASS DA PISTOL” is another menacing track that explores the concept of survival in the jungle with the fittest being the apex predator. Over the rich and anthemic guitars, organs and punchy drums, Slik Jack barks out the orders “Hold my jewellery, pass the pistol” as he prepares for any unforeseen attacks on his faction. “TOO REZILIENT” sees Slik Jack and Manzu Beatz teaming up with renowned lyricist Daniel Son and DJ Decepta. Together the duo embodies the true essence of the title with off-kilter bars and lines like “The goal is to hold these dollars without encountering problems” serve as a reminder of their main goals. DJ Decepta ties things up with some excellent scratching on the wheels of steel.
“CITY BURNS BELOW” changes the tone with its soulful and reflective production made up of solemn keys, and sublime vocal samples with dreamy textures underpinned by Slik Jack’s gritty bars. Here, he states how a prophet in his city is never loved and no matter what he did, they tried to keep their feet on his neck but took another route to the top. On the anthemic “HELM & ACNHOR”, Slik recruits fellow emcee Asun Eastwood for another hard-hitting jam that explores the dark crevices of the city and their daily struggles as they try to weave through the chaotic concrete jungle. The fun continues with “DOUBLE YOUS”, a dark gritty jam that is made up of moody pads, silk piano riffs and punchy drum grooves. Slik sounds perfectly at home with lines like “I put a 45 Rugers to medullas for this moolah, With Manzu as a producer, I levelled up with Bazookas/Don’t even have to rap, I’m only back for the consumers”. “YELLOW TAPE” starts with a snippet from the classic flick Predator which proceeds into a dark moody piece with New Villain and Slik Jack trading grimy bars with reckless abandon. This is followed by the hard-hitting jams “DA FOURCAST” and “D.I.T.G”. The former brings together emcee Bloo Azul, and DJ Tone Spliff while the latter features Crotona P, G Fam Black, and Mike Titan who all bring that edgy unadulterated boom-bap hip-hop that we all love. “OXBLOOD” is a solid lyric-driven track with thumping drums, choppy soul samples with thick basslines and Slik Jack’s unapologetic rhymes. “OUTRO” continues from where the intro started off with a conclusion and closes the project as expected.
Overall, BLUE COLLAR CRIMEZ is a cohesive and consistent project that sticks to its roots. The underlying roots of classic hip-hop are projected throughout as rapper Slik Jack delivers vivid and intriguing tales that hold listeners’ attention from start to finish.