Xxodys The Intellekt – Presents…Movement Muzyk – EP Review
More often than not, a glimpse into social-media will give you a good sense of what’s going on with an artist/band along their journey. Whether it comes through spelling out the progress directly, posting at random or saying nothing at all after dropping an important hint or two – you can get an idea of what really be up with the artist/band in question…a starting point. Nothing speaks quite like the music though does it? Sometimes you need to hear what’s going on with the songs themselves in order to get the full-scope of what’s all goin’ down…because those tell a story too.
In the case of Xxodys The Intellekt, I did what I’d normally do and started by playing some of the music from Xxodys The Intellekt Presents Movement Muzyk, getting into right into it and eventually becoming curious enough to start digging into the social-media pages. What I found on Facebook tells the beginning of the tale…there’s what becomes a cryptic first-post to the page in 2014 that tells us it was redesigned and that he’s got a couple tracks coming down the pipe – date TBA. Nearly a full year goes by without a posting…and then in a post in 2015, not only did the TB not lead to an official A – the message is even more vague – but it still suggests that the music is flowing out there…somewhere. Short of one other picture-post up on FB a couple months later – Xxodys has been keeping his profile on the low until right now, returning in May with the first pictures and hint of music in over an entire YEAR. The question is…why? What kept him away?
I could argue it’s Twitter…he’s been on that more regularly than he’s been on Facebook. Even though I’ve been a die-hard Houston Rockets fan all year long, I also had the San Antonio Spurs picked to win the whole damn thing even though it wasn’t what I wanted…just seemed like reality this year and I can see from his Twitter feed that he’s in agreement with them going all the way. But it’s not Twitter or basketball that keeps an artist like Xxodys away from the music…
…in fact…I’d bet not much really does. Absence from the computer & online life can often be an indication of being in behind the studio boards or in the booth making it happen on the mic and just too damn busy to be posting up Instagram pictures of the latest ham sandwich portrait. Life as always, no doubt continues to get in the way as it always does…but the trade-off there is always a willing one as life itself and all that surrounds us of course becomes our constant inspiration. But the MUSIC…that’s what really tells the tale; and if you’re gonna start to preach the good word about tunes coming in 2014 and not show up to the party until three years later…well…I’m sure you feel the same way & you want to hear something that might justify such a length of time in between those two points. The A-game, if you will…becomes more than necessary…if the project is going to survive beyond this point…this has gotta be great and get him the confirmation needed from himself or from others listening that he’s got every reason to be here and that the time spent upon the road & journey to get here was all worthwhile.
And that’s when Xxodys The Intellekt be all like dustin’ shoulders sayin,’ ‘Saul Goodman – I got this.’
Because he does. The man has taken the time to get it all right and keep his EP focused both musically and lyrically – you’ll notice the caliber & quality immediately as “Predecessor (Intro)” begins. With a quick cue to the maestro, Xxodys introduces himself as ‘the voice of choice’ as he keeps the opening of “Predecessor (Intro)” moving at a pace more akin to spoken-word while at the same time dropping knowledge-bombs and hints about what you can expect from this emcee. Bringing it right back to the roots of rhythm and poetry as “Predecessor (Intro)” begins – Xxodys sounds determined & confident as the words come out…the lyricism is thought-provoking…aware…straight-up woke. Just past the halfway mark, he flips the switch and kicks the tempo into gear as he increases the speed of his rhymes, hitting the metering perfectly with seriously complex lines & strings of syllables snapping into place like puzzle pieces. You can hear in the lyrics towards the end of “Predecessor (Intro)” take an introspective turn as Xxodys The Intellekt spells out the mission he’s on for all to hear.
A strong opening & a proclamation of sorts. It’s taken a long time for him to get here…but now that he is – he certainly sounds determined to stay and make a memorable impact.
There’s a lot that I love about “Movement Muzyk (Vizionary Mynded)” that goes beyond the slickest & slyest reference to Steamin’ Willie Beamen in any song you’ll hear this year. That’s RIGHT Xxodys – not too much slips by me and I picked up that reference so quickly I’m taking it straight to the endzone bro – I HEAR YOU…I’m picking up what you’re laying down. On the real though, “Movement Muzyk (Vizionary Mynded)” is socially aware and soundly structured, leading to one of the most lyrically satisfying & deep cuts you’ll hear on this record. An intro is one thing…we got a taste of what this guy is capable of on “Predecessor (Intro)” but “Movement Muzyk (Vizionary Mynded)” is what confirms the innovative way this emcee approaches his rhymes and the thought-provoking imagery he inserts into the lyricism. You can absolutely tell the amount of effort, thought and focus that’s been applied here due to the complex nature of the words Xxodys uses, yet how right on-point he remains with the pace & metering at every turn. That’s what separates the men from the boys yo, straight-up. Metering is one thing, great lyrics are another…complex words and cohesive ideas that tell a strong story AND hit that beat perfectly is an entirely different animal altogether – and again, I think Xxodys proves his capabilities solidly here in his rap throughout the course of “Movement Muzyk (Vizionary Mynded).” His words are important…they carry weight, seriousness and quite often the grim reality of the state of the world for many people out there today – but they also offer hope, experience and true leadership. Words like these are what takes a record a long time to create…when you’ve really got something to say and you want to make certain you’re saying it EXACTLY as you want it said – you take your time like Xxodys did and you get’em RIGHT like this. Definitely impressed with this emcees approach to his songwriting and to the mic; I also really like the music he’s used on “Movement Muzyk (Vizionary Mynded),” which is truly minimal but creates a haunting atmosphere that suits the lyrics perfectly. I wasn’t 100% sold on the second layer to the main-lyrics and whether it was entirely necessary…but that’s minor…my main beef I suppose was that it sounded like that same filter or effect used there was applied also to the chorus hook and I didn’t feel like that part needed any help. The idea is good, the simple melody/words are effective…let the lady sing that one out untainted & in my opinion, it might add just the perfect dose of beauty in the contrast. Overall though…please don’t get me wrong dear readers, dear friends – Xxodys has got himself an impressive cut that really DOES make an impact and connection to the soul with “Movement Muzyk (Vizionary Mynded);” definitely one of my favorite tunes on the record and an early highlight for sure.
Perhaps the most impressive cut on the record comes through the speakers right next…or at the very least perhaps one of the most important cuts on the record when it comes to what Xxodys is looking to communicate. “Grass Roots” seeks to educate just as much as it does to entertain; the beat is tight, minimalist in structure and style but adds enough punch in the bounce of the low-end to still make an impact alongside the bright synth-samples and sounds laced into the track throughout. “Grass Roots” – a track for the people – a song looking to be the anthem in the inspiration for change, rallying the people from the ground up to get woke and start organizing. Whether or not we agree with or adhere to everything he’s outlined here in “Grass Roots” in our own lives, it’s still a glimpse into the perspective & mindset of Xxodys and how he’s viewing the world right now. Chances are, like myself, you’ll find you relate to the majority of what he’s spittin’ into the mic; even if you don’t, the imagery he presents in the words makes the lyrics come to life in a way you can see & feel them. You can tell it’s important stuff to him personally through the intensity he puts into the words, he’s got good flow and once again demonstrates a mastery of winding his lyrics into the bars like he’s threading the needle perfectly to sew up “Grass Roots” tightly. “Grass Roots” is a solid combination of important lyrics and the courage to put his own perspective right out there on full-display for all to hear.
I almost thought it was the man himself, Mr. Biz Markie making an appearance as the spoken-word broke into rhymes on “Hello Baby” – very similar delivery and cadence to that opening line. It quickly dives into a whole different deal…some of this I dig, some I wasn’t as sure about. The rhymes are solid as ever, Xxodys always manages to create massive strings of syllables & complex words all together like they’re meant to be. I also really dig how the narrative, theme & storyline in the lyrics is entirely clear in its concept, ideas & execution…and for the most-part, I think it works. I’ve got respect for Xxodys doing his own hooks here and I think the attempt is a commendable one…BUT…I felt like the flow of the words in the chorus seemed to drag a bit – which seemed bizarre and somewhat noticeable because his rhymes & his rap are so on-point when it comes to finding the perfect amount of syllables to fit the bars. “Hello Baby” feels like he’s speeding up & slowing down a bit awkwardly in the structure of the chorus – but the idea itself is there. As far as the verse goes, it’s nailed – Xxodys slays this tale of love and makes this one real personal.
“Put You Down” is another highlight example of this emcee’s ability to add imagery to the words and create a dynamic storyline in the lyrics that you want to listen to from beginning to end. The amount of detail is impressive…and the fact that he fits in everything he wants to say & what’s necessary to complete the full story within the 3:30 is impressive – it’s another indication that he’s really taken his time and focused on getting it all right at every possible moment. Good beat, good combination of R&B into the main hooks of the chorus, leaving Xxodys to bust his rhymes and do what he does best. Wickedly entertaining on the mic, word-after-word flies through the microphone as he tells a highly-detailed story like he was there to observe each moment and record it permanently in his mind. Xxodys knows this material inside & out…whether that’s from personal experience or creative writing doesn’t really matter when it comes to how we listen to music – what’s most important is that the words sound confident & believable in a storyline like this…and they certainly do.
Ending the EP with “Six Ways To Sanity” was a great idea, no joke. Xxodys keeps this final cut super-loose – almost heading into spoken word here…or a rant…he’s up on his soapbox shouting and keeping it straight-up REAL at every moment in a highly satisfying last track. It’s almost as if we’re guests inside the mind of Xxodys The Intellekt on this one…or like we walked into the room and he didn’t notice & he’s carrying on a full-on conversation with himself. And then like…rather than snap him out of it we just let him continue on talkin.’ Why wouldn’t we? I love this kind of stuff and I could honestly listen to this track over and over. I don’t honestly think that this would be universal in that sense so much as it’s that kind of offbeat combination of weirdness in the music & wisdom in the lyrics that I dig personally for the uniqueness…it’s not as if this final cut has individual hooks that are going to pull you in; the entire song IS the hook! It’s oddly poetic and entirely real – “Six Ways To Sanity” makes for a perfect ending and a memorable way to exit the entire experience. You’ll remember Xxodys for his words, his style and delivery…but you won’t have to remember…now that he’s here and the music’s out, I have the feeling he’ll be around for quite a while, leading the way for the people out there towards a brighter tomorrow.
Find Xxodys The Intellekt at Twitter direct, right here: https://twitter.com/XxodysIntellekt
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