Wednesday 30 Jul

Sobering sounds

Copperheads with Depth & Current, Dudes of America and Oblivious

10 p.m. Saturday


113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Pony expression

Wild Ponies

8 p.m. Sunday

The Blue Door

2805 N. McKinley Ave.



07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Music Made Me: Josh Hogsett

Few, if any, Oklahoma bands have seen a rise as meteoric as Tallows over the past year, yet its seemingly overnight ascension didn’t happen by chance. The Oklahoma City four-piece is well-versed in the ways of modern pop songwriting, drawing from both glitchy electronica and cathartic indie rock in equal measure. Last year, the band pulled off a rare musical feat with its debut album, Memory Marrow, which was steeped heavily in the breadth of recent history yet managed to sound like nothing else before it.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Downtown Tulsa 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Hip Hop/Rap · Deus Eyeslow - Lyrical...
Hip Hop/Rap

Deus Eyeslow - Lyrical Voodoo

Joshua Boydston May 6th, 2014

Oklahoma has long been viewed as a mecca for songwriters and hell on earth for rappers. But that’s not necessarily the case, certainly not as of late.

While John Fullbright, Parker Millsap and John Moreland make a name for themselves on a national scale, so too do Josh Sallee, Jabee and Johnny Polygon.

It’s the state for the underdogs, the fighters, the storytellers, its humble plains and prairie towns birthing the homegrown, blistering truths that mark the very best folk and hip-hop songs. Suddenly, the formerly barren Sooner State is feeling as fruitful a birthing place for quality emcees as anywhere else around.

Along comes Oklahoma City rapper Deus Eyeslow, the ice to Sallee’s fire (or the bag of Funyuns to Polygon’s blunt), and with his third mixtape, Lyrical Voodoo, he feels primed and ready to ascend to the local scene’s upper echelon rather than fall back with the rest of the pack. The charismatic record is chock-full of whip-smart, progressive party rap brought to life with an ease that’s hard to come by — a glassy-eyed daze but racing mind echoing Curren$y or Schoolboy Q.

That’s the glue that holds this eclectic collection — immaculately curated and created by producer Shawny C — together while the album shifts anywhere from vintage Snoop Dogg (“Outlaws”) to the jazz-bent work of the early ’90s (“Daddy’s Lil Girl”). Lyrical Voodoo is an apt descriptor; the album is an intoxicating cocktail of all things hip-hop, and a deadly one at that.

Opener “Riches” sets the bar high from the outset, finding Deus riffing over a skittish trip-hop beat and nailing a quality earworm hook in just over a minute. “Lost Soul” doubles up on that success. These moments provide the clearest glimpse of the emcee’s artistic future.

Deus has a sharp sense of humor (the South Park/Mr. Garrison sample in “Needles” is an unexpected but wholly inspired choice), and it’s one that he sprinkles as liberally through Lyrical Voodoo as Childish Gambino. But not every punch line lands; jokes fall flat, boasts feel empty and some hooks are a little too breezy for their own good.

More troublesome are the serviceable but nondescript entries like “Kings” or “Pay Me” — songs that might serve as highlights elsewhere but feel like requisite, Hip-Hop 101 placeholders here.

The MF Doom-divined “Muhuwahaha,” the bluesy “Stars” and the mesmerizing “Lady Sophie’s Disguise” are thoroughly more enjoyable. These songs find the wordsmith flexing his tongue-twisting muscle and husky voice more like a supervillain than a disposable henchman.

And that the 20-year-old Deus Eyeslow could feel so imposing — even in bursts — so early in his career is a telling sign. He is just a little time and personal growth away from flipping the switch to full-time lyrical monster from part-time musical menace.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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