Review: Darko The Super – Apocalyptic Bastard

darko the super

2016 was also riddled with a lot of lies. More lies than usual. Fake news, even. Everyone knows fake news is a sin, so Darko restores journalistic integrity in the song “The Day I Beat Yao Ming,” which tells of the day Darko defeated one of the only basketball players I know of 35-27 on the court. It’s a tale filled with imagery and it’s very funny to imagine a cocky Yao Ming. I always heard he was humble. But Darko wouldn’t lie. It’s 2017 now, lies aren’t allowed. A less silly and more truthful song on the album is “Can’t Wait to Die.” Darko is very open about his suicidal tendencies and his fantasizing of his own death. It might be uncomfortable to confront suicidal death, but this is another individual struggle Darko faces. This suicidal crisis is followed by “Quick Sand,” which gives a tense realization that ending one’s life is so simple if one should wish to do it. I find it fitting that this song and “God Fuck America” appear near the end of the album. Just as the presidential election results instilled dread into many Americans near the end of the year, Darko saved these relevant songs for the end of the album. Not to make this all about me, but I think this point reinforces my concept that this album is heavily influenced by the belief that 2016 was some serious bologna.

My conspiracy theories aren’t important, though. This album is seriously wonderful. It’s as if every sound has a purpose beyond aural pleasure. The many samples vary from “Mad World” to the theme song from “Malcolm in the Middle.” A good number of the ‘80s samples are nostalgic and identifiable, but Darko applies tweaks to the beats that is inexplicably beneficial to the original sound. I’m probably getting ahead of myself, but I think Darko makes some songs sound better. It’s like he borrows classics and modifies them to hold a deeper meaning, but in a way that is much more enjoyable and valuable than some bullshit audio project I made my Junior year of college.

If you don’t like my taste, then spit me out. The subject matter of his songs is usually simple and sometimes uncomfortable, but Darko’s delivery and voice transform everything he says into a trip to the circus. It reminds me of Del, The Funky Homosapien if it helps to draw a comparison. He’s a self-aware goofball who can seriously have you quoting him within minutes. I’m either laughing or nodding my head when I listen to this album. There are some real funny lines juxtaposed among tracks clearly not intended to be funny. He’s got a way with words. Here some of good ones from “Apocalyptic Bastard”: “It’s cheaper to die, that’s why I stay nervous; cuz my health insurance is Google searches.” Another favorite, when referring to Donald Trump, “I will crush you; like your fans do PBR cans, Mr. little hands, I hate your orange spray tan; my gay friend’s husband looks better than your wife.” Darko’s discography is full of lines like this. Darko’s brilliant use of the English language is a tool he uses to craft a definitive style for himself while simultaneously using samples and references from other well-known artists. IT certainly is taboo, but

No one, not even good ol’ overtly-chipper Bobby is immune to bouts of pessimism, but Darko thrives in it. By channeling his frustrations and possible depression into creative energy, he refuses to give up on his art, and he becomes a prolific music-maker. I lost count of how many albums he put out in 2016 but it’s in the double digits. His productivity is inspiring and is worth emulating. Despite the melancholic message of some of his lyrics, Darko the Super continues to produce his jams as a coping mechanism for his chronic suicidal thoughts. At least I think that’s why. With “Apocalyptic Bastard” he relates with listeners and lets his audience know that there’s nothing wrong with feeling hopeless, especially in light of recent events and the potential misery of daily life, whatever situation you have to deal with. Take that hopelessness and change it into something worthwhile, but don’t feel the need to sugarcoat it for others to listen to you. You might not consider this album to be music, but like it or not, this is art. I love Darko the Super for many reasons, but I can’t express enough how much I love that he makes the stuff he wants to. Not adhering to a certain style just because it’s popular. So much more can be analyzed regarding Darko’s lyricism and musicality but I highly suggest you listen to this album and derive your own meaning. Or just enjoy the sounds and words of Darko the Super. Maybe even be greedy and do both of those things.

“Apocalyptic Bastard” will appear under your pillow in the dead of night once it releases on February 24.