Evan Gabriel knows Popeyes is more than biscuits.
To lift a line from Biggie, Bzkt knows how it feels to wake up fucked up. The Seattle rapper/producer didn’t make a happy summer album. Morbidity is written all over the 21 tracks, from the titles—“Slit My Wrist By The Ocean,” “Ashes To Ashes,” and “Suicide Capital,”—to the gritty details, like the taste of rum cleansing coke residue. Somewhere between apathy and depression, between sub-base and crackling loops, BZKT emerges from smoke, with green hair and a vengence.
Bzkt’s rapping isn’t edifying. It’s not supposed to be. On “Hempseeds,” featuring London’s Lord Apex, he pulls some loud triggers, but like a mesh of Tarantino violence and pre-Millennium Eminem lyrics, it’s lo fi punk rap for 2016. We Are All Fucked feels like a reaction to every fidgety feeling, down to the hangnails and headaches, as well as being broker than a motherfucker. “Inhale, exhale, life is a pain,” BZKT raps on “We are All Fucked” ft. Chester Watson.
Bzkt’s production is especially strong on “Pink,” “Loner,” and “Stay Away From Me.” His beats, along with those from a handful of other producers, all fuse well, revealing his wide range of influences. “When the Time Comes, I’ll be Ready Part 2,” produced by Toonorth, easily sounds like it could feature G Herbo, while Minneapolis’ Falls brings out some of BZKT’s most self-effacing mannerisms on “Oblivion.”
There’s a point of constant adoration for his mother, even when it’s paired with imagery of him being slapped for losing her boyfriend’s crack rocks. He faces demons while commiserating with her on “Stay Away From Me.” Here, he raps: “I isolate myself cuz I don’t want to face my demons now,” which is ironic seeing as isolation seems a likely breeding ground for demons. But if there’s a standout “Dear Mama” moment, it’s “Misery,” which sees BZKT testing his vocal range the most.
We Are All Fucked is both aggressive and laconic. There’s cancer, there’s depression, and a depreciation for opinions. But the melancholia doesn’t give way to carelessness in structure. With this many songs, there’s still enough variation to keep the mood from dragging. BZKT manages to channel both Plu2o Nash’s production and Lucki X’s drugged out lines on “Pink.” But where a verse from Lucki might end up drowning in the incoherence of a purple storm, BZKT’s raps maintain pose throughout the tracks. He also doesn’t ramble past the point of a song’s relevance.
The resonating message on this album is clear: people, including BZKT himself, aren’t shit. Beyond the funhouse horror and bloody knuckles, We Are All Fucked sounds like a brutally honest journal entry for the Soundcloud age. The tracks often come to a dead transmission’s halt. The album itself ends with a gun blast. It’s hard not to picture suicide inside a car, somewhere along a rain soaked road. But maybe that’s the point. Expect yellow tape. All are doomed.