In today’s Hip-Hop industry there are those gifted artists who possess a trait so unique it catapults them into an elite category of greatness. If one were to compile a group of elite emcees in 2003 based on pure lyrical skills, Vakill would easily make the cut. Vakill is a Chicago bred emcee that has made huge waves in the underground scene the past couple of years due to his great lyrical skills on the mic. But in a time when everyone emulates a similar lyrical style, Vakill posses one so unique it will utterly blow your mind upon first listen. His flow is sharp, cutting through every Molemen produced track and competitor dumb enough to stand in his way. Along with this sharpness is its speed, which isn’t Twista like, but fast in its own right on certain occasions. However, this quickness on the mic doesn’t put him in the category of other tongue twisters from the Midwest such as Bone Thugs. Instead, Vakill can pack as much words into a sentence without sounding forced or mumbled as possible. You can understand Vakill almost perfectly, as it’s not his flow that gets you; but his vocabulary, which is so deep and intellectual it puts most emcees to shame.
The main aspect of Vakill’s game is his pure lyrical abilities. Many draw comparisons to a young Ras Kass from his “Soul On Ice” days. And while this comparison definitely holds weight, Vakill takes Ras’s keen intellect, cocky swagger and intelligent lyricism to the next level, beyond anything most have ever heard. And while Vakill posses a variety of skills, it’s his battle lyrics that gained him his rep in the underground scene. Signed to Molemen Records, Vakill has appeared on various Molemen compilation albums over the years such as “Ritual Of The…” & “Below The Ground Buried Alive”. It was on albums like these and his collaborations with fellow Chi-Town emcee Juice that the public started taking notice in Vakill, as most were quick to say “who is this kid”?
Since then the hype has escalated for Vakill, as most fans wondered what was in store for his debut album, “The Darkest Cloud”. While Vakill was one of the sickest battle lyricists in all of Hip-Hop, could Vakill produce an album with the necessary variety and conceptual matter? Or would Vakill just become another great lyricist who could not produce a great album? All these questions are now answered, as Vakill proves to the entire industry that he is indeed a great all around emcee.
While many critics doubted Vakill’s ability to create great conceptual matter, what Vakill presents on “The Darkest Cloud” easily blows all doubts away. Who knew that this much variety, this much growth and this many great concepts would appear on Vakill’s debut album? Simply put, Vakill rose above and beyond everybody’s expectations and delivered an amazing all around album.
While Vakill presents those on the edge of your seat battle tracks, the conceptual tracks on “The Darkest Cloud” are the ones that make Vakill’s debut one of 2003’s finest albums. One of these finer moments comes from one of the most bizarre collaborations, as Vakill hooks up with Slug for the amazing “Fallen”. “Fallen” is a tale about an emcee that achieved early success in his career, only to be dropped by his label when times got hard. This emcee, played by Vakill, eventually kill’s the CEO of the record company and takes company hostage. Slug plays the role of the hostage negotiator, trying to save the lives of those held in question by Vakill. The eerie track will have every listener on the edge of their seat as they witness the climatic ending of the track, which I will leave for all of you to hear for yourself. The great storytelling track is definitely one of the album’s highlights, thus proving that Vakill can produce these types of gems like the rest of Hip Hop’s elite.
One of the more insightful and heartfelt tracks Vakill presents on “The Darkest Cloud” is the standout track “Cry You A River”. Telling the somber tale of loosing those close to him over the years Vakill spills his heart out onto the track. “They saw suicide is an unforgivable act. Can’t sneak into god’s graces, there is no visible cracks. So when its time for him to revisit the facts, I’m praying that you’re an exception to the rule when he review every individuals tracks. Lord I hope you see the goodness and keep a spot in your heart for him…If I could turn back the hands of time I’d rather squeeze the tool myself, cant let that kind of fate repeat g”. The tracks hook sums up “Cry You A River” perfectly. “I’m still in denial, you cant’ die you my nigga. I’m all out of liquor, so I’m pouring out my heart to you, my nigga”.
“The Flyer”, “Til The World Blows Up” & “Dear Life” are also similar efforts were Vakill displays his versatility. “The Flyer” is a beautifully produced Panik track where Vakill addresses the personal situations between him and his close associates such as Juice. “Whats up with Juice, who come we ain't heard from him? Should have been blown up ever since the battle occurred with Slim. That don’t equate success in this game…what ya'll think, a nigga win one battle so the war is over?…I’ll hold your down whether your succeed or quit this instance. Before I can spit this sentence, blood thick, nothing can split this friendship. Triangle for life, ya heard. Let’s get off our ass and take what we rightfully deserve”. On “Dear Life” we get another great message from Vakill, as the tracks hook is something we can all take to heart. “The funny thing about life is nobody gets out it alive. So how the hell are you gonna tell me how to survive? What does the whole purpose lead to? And why should I believe you when you can bleed to?
On “Sweetest Way To Die” we get another storytelling track from Vakill, as he plays the role of a graffiti artist who runs into the law along the way. Vakill does a nice job of depicting the story over the Memo produced track. While it’s not a story that will amaze you, the concept is done nicely and will certainly keep your attention.
While the vast amount of variety and concepts are what makes “The Darkest Cloud” one of the years best. We all know that what most fans came for were the sick battle tracks from Vakill, and “The Darkest Cloud” is filled with a lot of them. “Forbidden Scriptures” is one big lyrical gang rape, as Vakill, Breeze Evahflowin, Jakki, Camu Tao & Copywrite all hit you over the head with vicious battle rhymes over a head nodding Panik produced track. Vakill & Copywrite easily come the nicest, as both are considered to be in the upper echelon of battle emcees. “The Creed”, “Sickplicity” & “End Of Days” are more of the same, as Vakill tears each track to shreds with his astonishing lyricism. “End Of Days” is one of the albums best cuts, as the haunting Panik production gives Vakill the perfectly atmosphere to vibe off of. Vakill continues to amaze each listener with every line he spits, as you can go on for days quoting each insane line he spits. “The second coming, with a sperm count so high, girls gotta chew before they swallow. “American Gothic”, “Forever” & “The Crown Don’t Move” are more of the same, as each tracks dark haunting production takes over. Vakill especially rips it on “Forever”, where he spits lines like. “Nine times out of ten when you see me I’m stroking pussy like Inspector Gadgets villain”. Or on “The Darkest Cloud” were we get quotables like “My Hip Hop status is c-section, cause I’m a cut above you pussies”.
If you are a fan of pure lyrical talent then Vakill is an artist you have to look into. Like many such as myself, his lyrics will blow you away upon first listen and have you begging for more. “The Darkest Cloud” is the debut album everyone hoped it would be. With the right essential ingredients of lyrical skills, concepts and variety, “The Darkest Cloud” is without a doubt one of the finest underground albums of the year. And if you can categorize Vakill’s effort on “The Darkest Cloud”, it can be simply put as, “lyrics that will last forever”.