June 12, 2013

Brian_Ennals_Candy_CigarettesDeen would like a moment of national pause after staring at the cover.

Everyday, I alternately thank and curse Al Gore for inventing these internets of ours. After all, the internet is the only reason why you poor souls are subjected to this shitty prose because if I’m being completely honest there’s no way I’d be motivated enough to write about anything without the audience the internet provides me. Similarly, Brian Ennal’s Candy Cigarettes tape came to be via folks meeting each other in the notorious comment section over at NahRight. However, the quality of the the music on display suggests that unlike my lazy ass, Mr. Ennals would have found a way to get his voice out there whether or not Al Gore invented the internets.

The first thing you notice is Brian Ennals’ sing-songy delivery. I’d liken his delivery to a a more intense, pointed, literate and pop-savvy version of Max B. Whatever the fuck that means. Even though I wrote that shit, I’m not entirely sure of what it means given my general indifference to Max B, save about 4 songs. But back to Brian Ennals. He weds his lilting delivery to a pretty vulgar and biting sense of humor that often leaves you feeling as if you’re watching a TV controlled by the most poignant and scatterbrained child on the planet. Deep pithy and rational observations are suceeded by pettier ones within the same bar. Even more interesting is Brian’s habit of turning platitudes and cliches on their heads – for instance, he posits that “when cats pour liquor in memory, it means you weren’t worth more than two shots of Hennessy.” Call me childish, but that’s hilarious as fuck.

Thankfully, this scattered approach isn’t the only one on display. Ennals manages a narrative or three across this 12 song project – mainly about shit I suspect a lot of us have in common with him — girls, contradictions and other assorted vices (no shots ladies – you kinda classify as vices too, since my pockets suffer for y’all the same way they do for booze and drugs). Let’s just say he’s quite the character and leave it there, so I don’t spoil the jokes for you. Actually, I’m going to have to protest that one song where he’s nice to a stripper. I’m not cool with that, especially if she works at a place called ‘Norma’s’. Fuck that shit. Strippers will ruin you. Trust me, I heard that from a guy I know. Also, there’s something to be said for being really petty when it comes to romance. I bet more real niggas would have fucked with that “Marvin’s Room” song if Beige Gawd was less whiny and more bitter. I think ‘WYWU’ might prove that point, but what do I know? I’ve never been dumped.

I’m not completely enamored with all of the production on the project, but most of it is very solid and the weaker beats are elevated by Ennals’ vocal performances. There’s a reworking of a fairly familiar Wu sample that doesn’t annoy me. That’s a minor miracle in 2013.

I’d probably recommend this on the sole basis of the honesty on display. I mean, how many rappers in the history of the genre have admitted to getting caught jerking off by their older brothers? I’m not sure if that’s what we really want from our music or if it’s too much information, but since we let Kanye and his children open Pandora’s Box, I think I’m on board for this level of oversharing. After all, passing judgment on other people is so much easier when you can laugh at the same time. What else can you do when a nigga describes himself as “Mr. Marcus mixed with Marcus Garvey”?

ZIP: Brian Ennals – Candy Cigarettes (Left-Click)

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