Congolese-born Mississauga rapper VNCHY sings a considerable amount on his new record, EMINENT: 002A_0316, but he doesn't compromise his lyrical cleverness, and with his gruff voice he's reminiscent of a young Biggie Smalls.
Bijan Amir, who produces the first five of these six songs, keeps us in the "bump in the whip" mood throughout the EP. On "Not Sure," a gentler cut, VNCHY taps Love Mansuy for a beautifully sung verse and hook, but the standout track is "Summer Chick," which has a catchy, simple hook and an infectious beat that will make hips sway.
That sway transforms into a dance by the time VNCHY reaches pop tune "Unpredictable," on which the darkness recedes for a moment, but he jolts back to his signature gruffness on the project's closer, the dark, quasi-trap "Black Diablo" (produced by Arthur McArthur).
EMINENT is dark, but triumphant, evoking royalty via VNCHY's dense lyrics and the tracks' grandiloquent production. This isn't your typical rap floridness, trammelled with hackneyed displays of braggadocio and opulence; rather, EMINENT is a celebration of self that fully confronts its own contradictions. It is at times ethereal and spacy, at others suffocating and claustrophobic, all while avoiding incoherence.
EMINENT is an ambitious sonic endeavour that diverges greatly from Toronto's typical musical ethos. Cultivating a sound that is both luxurious and unrefined, VNCHY's EMINENT is a fascinating listen. (MVMNT Collective Inc.)