ALBUM REVIEW: Rogue Venom “SICK SAD WORLD”


Posted by LG |

One day, the world will remember the roots of Hip-Hop. Not rap, but hip-hop. Things have gotten so far away from where they started that the game is like a shell of it’s former self. Few rappers have the lyrical awareness to bridge the gap. Few have the skills to transport you to an era of wax. An era of milk crates and turntables. Rogue Venom is one of those rappers. Her new album “SICK SAD WORLD” is definitely an amazing journey.

I was teleported to the 80′s. As soon as I pressed play, I saw visions of shell-toes and big-body Caddy’s. Of open fire hydrants and big boom-boxes resting on windowsills. Time will tell if Rogue Venom will be boom-bap’s savior, but I say she is darn close. She delivers a solid offering of lyricism and flow here, definitely making her mark on the unsigned hype world.

What is great about SSW is that it is a modern take on the boom-bap sound, which is like an oxymoron. Even though it is deeply rooted in that style, it has so many elements to set it apart. Rogue’s flow is one of those elements. Though very old school, she makes sure to stay relevant. It’s something that I loved about her flow. The album opens with the dark, moody “Out My Mind”, and it instantly gets your head bopping. And the bopping never stops. The album instantly lets you know that the tone doesn’t change. You can buckle in, and not expect a different road to be taken. It’s the kind of album that a rapper gets a point across with. And boy does she. “Revenge” is one of those tracks that lifts the adrenaline level, but never takes it anywhere above the aforementioned tone level. There are many standouts on the album. “Sunday” is such a smooth track it’s what a pimp hears when he walks. “Spaced Out“, along with being the longest track on the album, is also one of the most lyrically advanced.

Even though SSW is a great album, I have a major gripe. Why in the world is the average track length around a minute and a half!? Every time I got used to the groove of a track, it began to fade out. This was “different” and “edgy” for about 5 tracks, and then I got frustrated as hell. I don’t know what made Rogue decide to have such short tracks, but I really am not a fan. And it really is only because she’s GOOD. If you’re a crap rapper, please by all means give me 30 second songs. But come on, if Jean Grae (whom is of course Rogue’s inevitable comparison) came out with an official album and no track was over 2 minutes, what would you do? So please, Rogue, full tracks next time please?

Other than that speedbump, SSW is a great listen. Because of it’s length, it’s great for a workout, or a nice playlist of good hip-hop. Rogue Venom is a rare find. Not only a great MC, but also a female. We have too few of those in the game. The voice she has should be heard, and I hope with this album, it is. I have very high hopes for her future projects, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to this great project. Many rappers are known for their bark. They talk a lot but can’t back it up with their skill. For Rogue Venom, as her name implies, you should be worried about the bite as well.

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