Stepping up front to steer a more personal project, 8Bit Cynics emcee Dewey Binns recently dropped "Spare Tires Vol. 1," a rangy disc that dips between dark, confessional hip-hop and light, snappier anthems issued with witty observation. The album was mixed and produced alongside Norman's DJ Chips, who helped the metro rapper assemble a framework of deft beats and stylishly spliced strings, horns and samples.
Binns is an intricate lyricist, but his delivery is neither forced nor frantic. Ranting about a run-in with an ex, even the rapid-fire "Ain't That Pretty" is effortless and elegantly executed. Plus Binns calls out his ex's weight gain, which is awesome.
"Death of a Genie" is a somber reflection on Binns' childhood and its lasting effect on his psyche as an adult. On it, the escapist emcee explains his frustrations, coolly remembering that "Even though my moms and my dad worked hard, I never seen a full tank of gas in their cars." Reciprocating the hate and rage of the world, Binns has been taking names and is fine with his unforgiveness, noting that if he was given a single wish, "I would wish for another wish / Then I'd take that wish and I'd wish for another three wishes / Wishing I could find everybody on my shit-list."
Thankfully, "Hundred Dollar Skills" follows to sweep "Genie" clean with a little swagger. A minute-and-a-half ode to his DIY aesthetic, this track is Binns at his best. Lambasting other rappers who don't earn their keep, hustling and selling records on the streets, he remind listeners how much he's done from what started in an Oklahoma mobile home: "I rolled my first verse on a hundred dollar bill / Then I bought my first mic, though recording was a thrill / Now I'm still broke, that's a hundred dollar skills," he opines, ending the track by admitting, "I may be white trash, hillbilly hip-hop hanger for a mic stand / And I ain't even need your hype, man / See I'm live enough, you can ask my five fans."
Make that six fans.
Never overinflated, "Spare Tires" is a smooth ride that pumps fresher air than Atmosphere. A free downloadable copy of the album is available.