Sadistik – Flowers For My Father

sadistik flowers for my fatherSadistik – Flowers For My Father
Fake Four Inc.: 2013

Remember when rappers were poets? When there was incredible substance and reflection in rap lyrics? When you weren’t allowed to “rhyme” the same word three times (Juicy J rhymes “people” three times in a row on “Who Da Neighbors”)? When albums were released in tangible form and you held a little booklet of lyrics to examine? Rap doesn’t seem to be like that much anymore. The rappers most non-fans are familiar with are the ones who are on TV, all over the internet, on the radio, basically the ones making the most money. In a world full of rappers, Sadistik is still a poet, and it’s not going to make him rich.

Let’s briefly address the plight of the white rapper. Only recently have acts like Riff Raff and Action Bronson broken the mold of emotionally driven sad/angry white rappers. Def Jux did a good job at nailing the niche, with rappers like El-P himself, Cage (who is featured on “Russian Roulette” on Flowers for My Father), and Aesop Rock. However, there were also rappers outside of the label that fit the same description like Sage Francis, Soul Khan, and even Eminem to a certain degree.

It pains me to admit that Sadistik does easily fall into the expressive sad white rapper category. But that’s not the worst thing. No one is asking 2 Chainz to make an Edgar Allen Poe reference, but coming from Sadistik it is much appreciated and appropriate: “I extinguish flames until Hell fell dark and bury bodies under floorboards like Tell Tale Hearts” comes from “Russian Roulette” featuring Cage and Yes Alexander. This is the track that stood out instantly, the highlight being the fat sounding ’80s style synth bass and how its notes climb up the scale until the bar resets in an inexplicably satisfying way. The percussion on the song is subtle and comfortable, but more importantly matches the ambient vibes provided by the bass and some airy keyboards.

The album definitely challenges the listener at times. The opening guitar riff to “Snow White” emotive and morose, implies the song will song will blossom into some kind of powerful underground rap ballad similar to El-P’s “The Overly Dramatic Truth”. What ensues though is a more typical rap beat, which detracts from how emotional the song I expected would be. However, it gave Sadistik the chance to show off a bit and it’s impressive. The verses are slow and paced like a slam poem. The chorus is much more rap friendly and bold. I dig the decision to make the catchy ear-grabbing portion of the song into the chorus, allowing himself room to explore during the verses and breaks.

Yet another strong difference between Sadistik’s brand of rap and current commercial rap would be how they approach the topic of cocaine. “Yeah you wait in line to take a line. A powdered nose and some makeup might erase the strife,” and “you can’t afford the habit that you chose” are both lyrics from “Snow White” (duh). Meanwhile some of rap’s biggest names like Rick Ross, Pusha T, and Juicy J make their careers through ‘moving coke’ raps, in which they brag about how much of the substance they have sold. Has anyone seen The-Dream and Pusha T’s “Dope Bitch” video? It’s set against a black background, but you can’t tell because white powder is at the forefront of every shot, snatching the viewer’s attention. The glorification of narcotics is something rap music has been known for since the ’90s, but Sadistik fittingly addresses the topic in a more somber and realistic fashion, truer to his style.

Sadistik’s lyrics on the album are strong and thoughtful, as usual. Musically, however, there is not much to write home about. The next closest thing to a standout besides “Roulette” is “Michael”, which resembles a Clams Casino beat because of its heavy reverb, unconventional snare drum, and ambient moaning, but most of those elements don’t persist throughout the whole song. Another Clams-esque production is “Melancholia”. Gloomy, introspective, and atmospheric, the beat most certainly reflects Sadistik’s melancholy, but so do most tracks he’s ever done.

“Kill The King”, featuring Deacon the Villain, is a decent and moody track as well, comprised of low synthy bass and a trap drum kit with a nice little piano accent to add some flavor. Over “Kill The King”, Sadistik raps “No, I won’t say I’m getting stronger/’cause what doesn’t kill me only makes me wait a little longer/Play the chupacabra when I take a few more shots of all the Jamie, booze and vodka til I change into a mon-ster”. This is where I feel the album would be better as a book of poems rather than a musical release. It’s heavy, just what he does best.The rest of the music does not take many chances. This is not to say the remainder of the beats on the album are bad, they are just a bit flatter than your average 2013 hip hop album. This benefits Sadistik in some regards, as it allows the focus to stay on his lyrics and delivery, but it degrades the album a bit when you are not being compelled musically. Having said that, Flowers for My Father is certainly a strong sophomore release from Sadistik in the right direction, there’s only room for him to grow from here.

On Dec. 18, Sadistik did an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit. A user asked: “What tips and tricks would you advice aspiring rappers?” to which Sadistik responded: “Write honestly. And have fun because there’s a lot of disappointments to come.” I found this to be amusingly fitting of the personality reflected through his lyrics, part hopeful, but mostly morbid, an odd outlook for someone with a promising future.

3.5 out of 5

15 thoughts on “Sadistik – Flowers For My Father

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  1. I know this post is like a year old but i felt like posting support for it because it’s so accurate. i just started reading this review and couldn’t make it past the first fucking paragraph.


  2. cool

  3. Good review. I’m not surprised that there are so many people complainig tho. If you don’t enjoy Riff Raff, Waka Flocka or Lil B than you are labeled a predictable close-minded backpacker….these days, kids like these come waaaaaaaaay to oftern. Why don’t u guys just try to enjoy something different? I know that most of you have listened to few underground hip-hop before and now you all listen to shitty pitchofok rap and pat yourselves on the back for how open minded you for enjoying ignorant music…and all these “freaky’ experimental tunes. ya know.

  4. Again, not his point. He’s comparing one coke song to another. That’s it.

  5. damn,emotions runnin wild among u guys,this ain’t about ya’ll, i’m a huge sadistik fan but i have to agree with the review on the beats,kinda suprised me,if any one of u guys listened to The Balancing Act or The Art of Dying u would kinda consider the production as a step backwards(talking about the way the production really went with the emotions he was expressing, how they were not conventional,here i’m refering to the Clams Casino comparisons). But an artist is supposed to grow & experiment,and that process has its cons. We believe in u Sad,do your thing. And by the way,i appreciate that the blog reviewed this(I really wished The Balancing Act had made it).

    P.S. Gotta give it up to him,ya’ll can’t talk shit about the lyrics

  6. jabberthefastax|

    I know I shouldn’t be comparing reviews…I KNOW….but……I’m a fan of both Sadistik and Kool A.D. I listened to 19,63, and Flowers for my Father quite a few times already and the fact that 63 somehow got a better review than this album is fucking unbelievable. Sadistik displays more effort and heart in this album than he ever has before…Kool A.D. – the COMPLETE opposite in his new double album…It doesn’t happen often, but I’m disappointed as hell in this blog right now.

    P.S. For once, take Das Racist’s music for what it is and hop off their dicks when they do something sub-par occasionally.

  7. So you’re one of those people that doesn’t connect the content, beats, flow, and emphasis on rhymes eh? Probably the type of person that misses sardonic humor in rap unless it is deliberately spelled out to you.

  8. Gangsta Turnip|

    Ohhh sick burn their breh. That is like first degree level right there. Owwwhh it hurts. Hey if you enjoyed this very boring album, going by that you aren’t Sadistik yourself, then more power to you my dude.

  9. 90 % of the music? dude is like jadakiss, raps with the same predictable flow and diction to the same beats you EXPECT him to rap over, over & over again, makes the same damn song, same damn wordplay and same damn albums/mixtapes, what are we missing? what more is there to pusha’ t’s shit than that? i dont see it, and it exist or have existed, its never really amounted to anything special anyways. Pusha was cool the first 2 clipse but after that you get sick of his non-evolving non-progressive just done-well raps with 80% has to be in relation to coke. Unlike pusha, at least sadistik can switch up subject matter, wordplay/flow and PROGRESS/ EVOLVE upon what hes already done each and every album he does.

  10. not suprising this coming from someone named GANGSTA TURNIP. I

  11. I think the reviewer is missing the very essence of what makes this album great. It’s not just that the lyrics are breathtaking (which they are) but to say that to release the songs as poetry outside of their musical context is just dumb. Sadistik shows incredible growth as an artist on this release – each song is meticulously crafted to blend, and almost melt into the sonic, cinematic beats of most songs. The layers of production breathe new life into the songs, and Sadistik almost reigns in some of the raps to focus more on the songs as a whole (I think the final track is the only one where he raps a third verse). So I disagree entirely about the production, and can only hope you’re right in saying there’s better to come from Sadistik, as right now I’m wondering whether that’s possible.

    I was going to address the ‘boring’ comment left above but then realised that would involve engaging in a debate with somebody called Gangsta Turnip, so I thought better of it.

  12. If you listen to Pusha T and the only thing you’re getting from him is that he’s saying he sells a lot of coke you’re missing 90% of the music.

  13. That’s not his point. It’s that Sadistik went another route when talking about coke.

  14. Gangsta Turnip|

    This album is easily the most boring thing I’ve heard all year. I thought it would be pretty tough to make an album more sleep inducing than the Pro Era tape but boy was I wrong.

  15. This is an insufferable review that starts out with revisionist bullshit hip hop history (and pretending that fucking repetition isn’t a legitimate poetic device) and then spews into some garbage with opining the plight of the white rapper about how he’s so much deeper than the silly Black rappers who only talk about moving coke. Terrible. Terrible review.

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