Published Jun 24, 2016Demrick is one of many MCs with East Coast roots to make their name in California. But as he recounts on Collect Call, his path from North Philly to Los Angeles was one traveled by few, if any.
He wastes no time delving into his past, recounting his incarcerated father wrongly predicting a similar fate for him in the intro's opening bars. Not only does Demrick let listeners in, but he flaunts his versatility, effortlessly adapting his flow to the musical track laid before him. True to his claim that Cali made him, "Different Day" and "Take Me to Cali" both scream left coast, from laid-back flow to production. The latter is an account of his move to the Golden State thanks to another Eastender-turned-Angeleno, Kurupt, the former one of his quest for peace of mind: "Met a lot of people last year, and I had to leave a few there." But Demrick's most personal work is the album's closer, "Back in the Daze," in which he recalls a foolish, half-baked attempt to strike it big in New York, ending with a penniless young Dem on a cross-country bus ride back to Spokane. The MC bleeds over the beat with an abandon that reflects the youthful spontaneity that originally inspired the trip.
Demrick does occasionally get in his own way. "Freak Show" and "Pocket Full of Green," both produced by longtime collaborator Scoop DeVille, are merely played-out ditties about promiscuity and getting ends, each muddying the album's tell-all focus. Still, Demrick's got a story to tell, and on Collect Call, he does so while keeping his mastery of the craft and raw edge in harmony. (10 Stripe Records)