The former English grad student in me likes to go to the source when considering anything. I prefer to follow the clues. One of the clues states, “It is a collection of complete thoughts, intoxicated nights, heartache and most importantly hope for a better future.” And the clues (using a famous speech by Frederick Douglass in the intro and then alluding to Jay-Z in the EP title and title track) led me to this conclusion: Atlanta emcee Blctxt Contxt is obviously a student of the rap game, equally familiar with history and musical tradition.
The debut EP from Blctxt Contxt, A Smart Black Boy: The Sonic Inception, is a solid collection of stellar beats (from producers J. Haze, King I Divine, Nameless Beats, Illastrate, and Siraaj Encore) that represents an intriguing statement of independence, consciousness, and positivity. “My brain is a weapon; consider me a problem,” Txt tells the audience on “Rabbit Hole”. It is little nuggets like this and other assorted pieces of wisdom that truly remind the listener of socially aware rappers like Common or early Lupe Fiasco. Another strong clue is offered on “Cooking Up”. Wanting to avoid damaging labels, Txt offers up, “I’m a grown man, what the fuck’s back-packin?’”
This killer combination is readily apparent on the Illastrate-produced “Raining Sunshine”. Over a blissfully soulful beat, Txt delivers some of his strongest rhymes of the whole EP. The combination of the beat, the optimism, and the Badu-like chorus from Venus, adds up to a stellar track. The next track “Infinity (For Robin)”, a love song for his departed mother, is another example of his gift. Blctxt is at his best when he delivering a message from his heart. The interludes and skits cut down on the overall effectiveness of the EP, but the highlights more than make up for the weaker moments.
As the EP has been leaked in pieces over the last few months, it is awesome to hear the finished product. Blctxt is wonderful at delivering a socially conscious, positive message. I was initially worried when I saw the track list as it featured a number of different producers. I wondered how seamless the final release would be. There was no need to worry. The clues all add up to a stellar statement. Enjoy it.