Perfected has a name which suggests an opposite attitude to the common hip hop mindset – that we are never good enough. Yet his confidence comes off as a conscious plus as opposed to an egotistical unfulfilled promise. A rapper who is willing to undoubtedly say they have worked to their full potential is indirectly telling us several things.
Perfected is telling us that he is serious about what he is doing, and how he is doing it. Along with that, he is secure of his own ability, and even more prominent is his confidence in hip hop as the perfect floor for his unswerving execution. So we, the heads, the hopefuls and the hooked will welcome him to the floor mainstream gangster rap has now forced us fight for so fiercely.
With production from the Arkitects, who are well recognised for producing many platinum artists on many major labels with recent credits include Missy Elliott's new lead single "Ching-a-Ling". Perfected is more than a name and a notion. He's an MC, a poet. And his tracks tell us more than many hip hop tracks kicking around at the moment. "My…" begins with a old school bluesy sample which is contrasted by Perfected's more uncompromising lines. The sample is utilised in a way I'm unacquainted with – he is interacting with it as opposed to leaning on it. While the blues tones sing the title "My…", Perfected completes the sentence, the idea and the atmosphere.
"Y'all Don't Pop" is much more hostile from the start, similar to "Strong Rush" and "What She Lookin For". The scene is immediately set, he has something to say, but he's reminding us that it is not always going to be something we all find easy to take. "Y'all Don't Pop" appears aptly named even before the vocals kick in, because the music takes me right back to David La'Chappelle's "Rize". The energy, the intensity, the sincerity. The drumbeat is steadily paced and defined. The hi hat echoes a rapid heart beat and the vocals add the movement factor. "Strong Rush" compromises a similar string sound and drum beat. But this is most of a closed fist track, though it still screams KRUMP. It has more of a hustlers content and the points it raises are youth, gangster and minority at the same time.
"What She Lookin For" is dramatic, again we've got the strings and the steady drums. Though they are constantly building and falling to keep the drama present. And the minimal church sounding chimes are hood raising, head lowering effective. Finally, a rapper who acknowledges the presence of women in gangs and violent culture. Though I'm not sure whether he's talking about a stereotypical lass who just wants some gangster to use. Or a lass who gets a kick out of the gang culture as much as the guys. Either way, the final result is evident. No good can come of it. Perhaps the whole point is that while we don't know what she is looking for, neither does she. That's the real tragedy.
"Who Better" is another similarly dramatically charged track, this time the drums are getting a bit more active, the lyrics a lot more personal and the battle mindset more domineering. Though by this point, you can't help getting kind of bored of the excessively charged attitude. Have you ever seen a film where something incredibly dramatic is happening in every scene? Would the film have any effect on you if it was created in this way? Perfected could benefit from fewer, stronger abrasions as opposed to the dragged out anger that seems to be disfiguring his incredible poetic ability.
"Ain't Nothin Change" therefore manages to stand out as a lighter track. Though the verbal style is the same and the drama is still evident. It is more hungry than starving. Giving Perfected the chance to lay down some of his top lines and allowing us as listeners to sit back a bit and contemplate the words – "Supply within: the strength to make it happen / Slay this rap shit, enter better days relaxin… I'm not dumb, you aint happy to see me, you star-struck".
There is something about Perfection that echoes a lot of British MCs nowadays. His appreciation of rap as poetry. Hip hop as functional and influential. And art as emotion. Switching up these emotions to make it all the more natural and effective will help in his continual establishment as a driven and gifted individual which hip hop and the victims of Corporate America are begging for.