Published Dec 17, 2013Oozing hometown pride in every song, Ingleworld is the latest independent release by Skeme, Inglewood's raspy new voice of the West Coast resurgence. The self-proclaimed "unofficial fifth member of Black Hippy" remains unsigned despite sparking the interest of Top Dawg Entertainment, home label to Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q.
Starting and ending the album off strong with all the hi-hats and synth lines you could ever ask for from a West Coast record, Skeme exhibits versatile rap styles over the beats of up and coming producers such as JRocket, Resource and Wizzo, as well as the more familiar Boi-1da. The middle of the 16-track album however, sags; Skeme could have concisely covered the same bases and themes of surviving, gang banging and the eternal struggle of growing up in a rough neighbourhood in half the songs.
Where Ingleworld shines is its features. An in-your-face verse by Iggy Azalea — who Skeme has been rumored to ghostwrite for — on "High Level" and a smooth, laid back verse by Wale on the album's lead single, "Aint Perfect," are highlights. Most impressive are Skeme's pairings with fellow California natives who he vibes with and sounds best alongside: Dom Kennedy on "Focus," and Nipsey Hussle — whose cadence Skeme's strongly resembles — on the album's closer, "What Yo Life Like," an ode to beating the odds and making it.
Ingleworld is a valiant effort from Skeme but mediocre overall. Still, with some growth and improvement, Skeme could easily become a leader of the new West Coast sound alongside Nipsey Hussle, Dom Kennedy and the Black Hippies. (MADE Headlines)