Published Jul 24, 2015Few MC's are as aptly named as Madchild. The Vancouver rap vet more than earns that moniker on his third solo LP, Silver Tongue Devil, spitting rhymes with youthful exuberance, and living up to the madness referenced in half of his stage name.
His childish zaniness is a frequent asset throughout the album. On opening track "Untold Story," he raps: "I was takin' Oxys and Percocets/ It's like my mind was always floating in a circus tent." His syllables are equally malleable on "Lose My Mind," when he fantasizes about a girl with "fatty tissue" and "daddy issues" before somehow rhyming "killers" and "Bruce Willis" on "Devils and Angels," and "anal hole" and "unexplainable" on "Mental," before spitting that latter track's funniest line: "I put petroleum on your linoleum and light it." His is a wide eyed, imaginative and mischievous rhyming style that results in some of Canadian hip-hop's most creative word combinations.
But sometimes those offbeat lyrical hijinks veer from the juvenile to the downright delinquent. "SLUT," the less than subtly titled fifth track, finds Madchild fantasizing about a wayward lady, before he escalates the narrative with descriptions of how he'd stab her, rip out her tongue, and assault her whole family until bodily fluids "hit the ceiling." Throughout the song Madchild sounds like Eminem at his most vile and uninspired, backed by an infantile circus-style instrumental. It's horrifically misogynistic, the kind of stuff that rap detractors point to when they call for the genre to be banned. What's more, Madchild's attempt at such vicious lewdness isn't even all that edgy or stylistically inventive, amounting to nothing more than one obscenity after another. And there's no irony or satirical tone (at least none that I could hear) as Madchild snarls through this psychopathic screed. How such an abysmally themed track ever made it past the cutting room floor is far more fascinating than even the most violent of the song's lyrics.
That midway dud, and the album's bloated track list (17 in total) tarnish Silver Tongue Devil. But if Madchild can polish such misogyny and self indulgence from his next project, it'll be an immaculately gleaming lyrical treasure. (Battle Axe)