There’s something to be said for a rapper who can generate a buzz as loud as a hornet’s nest without blessing the world with a full album. Kid Vishis is one such emcee and we reviewed his debut album, Timing Is Everything.
Kid Vishis has managed just that armed only with a few mixtapes and appearances on older brother Royce Da 5’ 9”’s projects. Granted, being related to Royce might make people pay attention, but it is certainly not enough to keep them interested if he can’t live up to the hype. Relishing the opportunity to silence any doubters, Vishis calls on four producers and one feature (big bro of course) to deliver Timing Is Everything.
If his aim was to show his breadth as an emcee, he definitely hit the nail on the head. From firing warning shots at his contemporaries on Message To The MC’s declaring: “all you son’s of bitches is son’s of Vishis”; to the tongue in cheek social commentary on Look At All My $h!t; and then the homage to family track Big Brothers; Vishis has certainly mastered the art of translating his thoughts and emotions into songs.
However, for all his versatility, I prefer him when he lives up to his namesake and totally rips the mic. The Juice sees Vishis flexing his lyrical muscles, proving that lyricism is just as much in his blood as plasma and blood cells. In Yo Face is an example of how an artist with Golden Era sensibilities can utilise New Skool trends effectively to form a backdrop to their story telling; in this case by employing subtle dubstep sounds. He says it himself on Beautiful Day: “I’m not a turn up turn up rapper” but he is still able to deliver that energy that makes you want to turn your volume dial clockwise.
Timing Is Everything has a sound that’s vaguely familiar, but not in a lacking originality kind of way – more a student of the genre showcasing lessons he’s learnt along the way. Who would have thought it possible to have a hook that is a mash up of DMX’s Money Cash Hoes and something reminiscent of Nas’s I Know I Can? The essence of Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative is also resurrected and reloaded to form part of Talk Behind My Back.
Production is handled by Nemisis, Chase Moore, Nick Zervos and Mr Porter, and Vishis rarely has to compete with the beats in order to shine. While this is Vishis’s debut album, it’s worth remembering he has been doing this for years and T.I.E should be the equivalent to him flying his flag on the moon – a signal that he is finally here. Vishis is one of the few Golden Era lovers not trapped in recreating the sound of the forefathers, but instead taking the principles and bringing them up to date.
Delivering a worthy debut, Vishis leaves me feeling like he has a couple more tricks up his sleeve and it’s not long before they are revealed. But in the words of the man himself: timing is everything.