Worst Fears Confirmed

Artist: VakillTitle: Worst Fears ConfirmedRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: illseed

Darkness is what’s missing from Hip-Hop and that isn’t in reference to the complexion of the rappers doing it. These days, Hip-Hop is one big happy-go-lucky circus of confection, whether your love is killing your own people, doing drugs or just ignoring social issues.

Vakill isn’t a clown and he’s certainly not one to visit the circus.

The Chicago rapper is just one of the many MC’s blowing out of the Windy City with a variance that begs to be called the new home of Hip-Hop. Vakill’s sophomore album, Worst Fears Confirmed, (Molemen Inc.) is a testament that all isn’t sweet, despite the love of “Laffy Taffy.”

Production first. Panik and Memo, the chief beat maestros of The Molemen, immediately set the dark tone of Worst Fears Confirmed and produced the majority of Vakill’s tracks. So, when Vakill rap’s about a preacher’s plight after the murder of his family by drug dealers on “Acts of Vengeance,” the beats are as haunting as anything Freddie and Jason ever did. A similar example is the Chi-Town anthem “Cold War,” where Vakill boasts, “[Chicago is] a place where you can’t wear Lotto, where tomorrow hammers will turn you into a milk cartoon print model.” Vakill continues to paint his blackened motif on songs like “Man Into Monster,” which features Vizion, “Heart Bleeds” and “No Mercy,” among others.

Lyrically Vakill runs circles around his peer group. At times, he sounds like a younger mixture of Rass Kass and Royce Da 5’9”, both of which ironically appear on Worst Fears Confirmed. He’ll probably destined to be pigeonholed a “backpacker” or a “punchline emcee,” but there is more to this self-proclaimed “beast,” exemplified on “Flow Fever,” “King Meets The Sickest,” which features Royce. And, while he never truly lightens up, he and Rass Kass showcase a more jovial being on “Introducin’”. An opposite notion could be said for the somber sentiments of “Farewell to the Game” and “When Was The Last Time,” both of which counter the aforementioned stereotype.

Some may critique that Vakill is one-dimensional or not that of the masses, but that’s gift in disguise for this reviewer. Hip-Hop has more than enough so-called versatile rappers that attempt to cover all markets in one album only to create a soggy version of their former selves. Vakill expands his creativity enough to pull in more people, but not enough to cry corny or sell out.

Here’s to colder, darker days.