Wednesday, May 24, 2017 This Week's Paper

BoomBox Massacre

// “BoomBox Massacre: The Mixtape featuring Awall”

Tacoma rapper Awall joins forces with Seattle producer BoomBox Massacre on this CD.

“Intro” is a short number to start things off that reveals both of their skills. “You can hear Bigfoot coming, Awall Sasquash/ roam freely through the Northwest, monstrous/ when there is a sighting everybody’s smiling/ because they love to see him rhyming hit the perfect timing.”

“2 Piece And A Biscuit” samples electric guitars paired with a pounding drumbeat, creating a song with the intensity of heavy metal. Awall, at age 35, ponders his status in the rap scene. “I’ve been hearing a lot of talk on the streets, you know/ they saying Awall’s old, washed up, he ain’t got it no more.” He serves notice that he is still at the top of his game.

“Sleeping On Me” continues this theme, with considerable bravado. “Hater regulator, Awall maximus gladiator/ crush you with my bars like the jaws of an alligator/ it’s now or never later my hunger’s built up/ and competition’s starting to look like chicken when it’s grilled up.”

“Hatin’s Ur Occupation” features fellow Tacoma rapper Josh Rizeberg. Awall invites haters to bring it on. “Hate on me, feel free it might make you feel better/ send me your hate mail, I want to read your letter.” Rizeberg follows with his observations. “Your hate will eat you alive, you’re part of the 10 percent tribe/ I ride with my percent five.”

BoomBox Massacre creates a soundscape with thumping bass and eerie keyboards, at a slow, plodding pace for “Tacoma Had Me.” Awall offers commentary on his hometown. “Tacoma, Washington, the first state on the map/ not where you from it’s where you at so its time to adapt.”

“Designated Driver” is a harrowing tale of the perils of drunk driving. Awall describes a night of carousing while attending school at the University of Washington. A childhood friend was out drinking with him and decided to drive home. The next day Awall got a call from his friend’s mother, informing him his friend died in a car wreck. 

He offers a scenario of himself leaving a bar, purchasing malt liquor in a store and chugging it down in the parking lot. “While I’m drinking, I’m thinking I should probably take it slow/ but the devil said it’s party so I’m thinking hell no/ woke up under arrest in the freezing cold/ I killed a whole family the youngest was three months old.” He thanks the woman who serves as his own designated driver and offers condolences to victims of drunk drivers. BoomBox Massacre created dramatic music that perfectly fits the lyrics. 

“So What” works in a great Seattle Supersonics reference. “I’m too much to handle, come into your lane/ down the middle, bang on you like its Xavier McDaniel.”

Awall writes clever lyrics and BoomBox Massacre creates music that sets a fitting mood for the message and feelings of each song. 

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Reviewed by John Larson