Sir E.U "FXCK2" Album Review
Hailing from the Washington D.C. area, Sir E.U is an acclaimed battle-tested lyricist known for his seemingly never-ending constructs of stream of consciousness flows over quirky production. He and his collective, the Kool Klux Klan have a rich history within the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) scene as one of the more progressive young Hip Hop groups out of the area with a prolific string of performances and mixtapes. FXCK2 is the sequel to his 2011 release FXCK and has a drastically different approach than it's predecessor due to some heavy changes in E.U's production team (he even handles some of the beats himself this time) and the influence of a tragic loss of his crewmate, Avionadramida who passed away last year.
E.U sets out to prove he is one of the rawest new emcees in this current generation, and this narcissism couldn't be more clearly depicted as the album cover shows E.U standing next to a self-portrait of him performing with an actual gold crown placed on top of the painting. He's also randomly holding a small white puppy; adding to the aura of absurdity that permeates the tracks on this album. Efforts for prior promotion include a fun and visually striking video for the single “The Third One” and an extensive tier of several random EP releases in 2012. Fans of E.U will notice his progression from conventional battle-style rapper to a picasso/drunken master in the moment with words; creating a distinct experience that will immediately grab listeners old and new from the get-go.
The sound of FXCK2 is very lo-fi and punchy. Listeners that primarily prefer big and crisp production will take some time to get used to the aesthetic, but once it settles, it fits E.U's performance very well.
There is definitely nothing formulaic about E.U's song structures. Filled with material that RapGenius users would have a field day decoding, most of these tracks are mind-bending single-verse diatribes that drastically shift in form to the point where it is impossible to tell if he is freestyling entire songs or not. As a result, E.U comes off as indulgent at times, but is completely aware of it and playfully breaks the 4th wall throughout the album. E.U's transition from his standard flow into French stanzas on “DAFFY” is especially entertaining. Two fellow Kool Klux Klan emcees Marty Heem and Cal Rips make appearances and build's on E.U's energy in their verses as well.
The sound of FXCK2 is very lo-fi and punchy. Listeners that primarily prefer big and crisp production will take some time to get used to the aesthetic, but once it settles, it fits E.U's performance very well. Exceptional juke/footwork-meets-boom bap experimentations by producer Kisai the Spooniest Bard form the majority of the album's production and also add more to the absurdity of the lyrics. The sound isn't completely full-proof, however. In the latter half of the album, production becomes shockingly muddled and less focused.
As a whole, FXCK2 plays out like an anime/revisionist history/sports/entertainment reference-obsessed ADHD child painting the same picture over and over again with different colors and brushes. It creates a very interesting atmosphere for the album, but would have benefitted more if it was slimmed down to a 6-7 track EP with all Kisai production.
This album is a very cerebral experience that commands the listener to pay attention to every word, otherwise the string of thoughts established will be incomprehensible. When broken down to the core messages, E.U is basically finding some very unique and alternatively entertaining ways to boast and speak on various relationships with his crew, hip hop culture idiomes and tropes and his own psychology.
Sir E.U dances on the fine line between focused and loose vocal presence throughout the album, which is ultimately a very well-calculated approach for the first half of the album. On the second half after “The Fifth One”, the line gets too blurred as if E.U himself got lost in his own vortex. FXCK2 is if anything, a great but sometimes faulty expansion to this refreshing territory E.U is traversing with his lyricism.