CRIMEAPPLE - Viridi Panem (CD)
CRIMEAPPLE's Viridi Panem is a deep dive into the complex dynamics of the eternal paper chase. "It's a conceptual piece about capitalism, greed and excess," says the charismatic heavy-bearded New Jersey-based MC, who adds that the album’s title translates from Latin into "Green Bread." The eight track project rolls out like a modern film noir starring a protagonist making connections with models in Medellín, splurging through fine dining scenarios, and navigating his way through a cast of aspirational characters lured into a clandestine contraband realm.
Viridi Panem builds on the buzz of this summer's Medallo album, which CRIMEAPPLE cut with Cypress Hill figurehead DJ Muggs. Before making moves with hip-hop legends and collaborating with modern scene leaders like the Griselda Records camp, CRIMEAPPLE announced his talent with a relentless freestyle on Statik Selektah's Shade45 radio show back in 2017. That move paved the way for a run of four breakthrough EPs—including the Halloween-inspired Sweet Dreams and the Street Fighter-themed Perfect franchise—all produced by CRIMEAPPLE's long-time cohort Buck Dudley, who also masterminds the complete sonic backdrop to latest sureshot Viridi Panem.
The dark and intoxicating world depicted on Viridi Panem is relayed by CRIMEAPPLE in captivating fashion. His intricate flows mix up vivid imagery with bursts of rapid-fire syllable spitting and splashes of Spanish slang that represent the MC's Colombian heritage. CRIMEAPPLE's graphic bars are matched by Buck Dudley's beats, which conjure a shadowy, danger-fraught atmosphere through the use of eerie wavering synths, echo-enhanced snares and growling bass tones. Bringing a touch of hip-hop history to the project, on "Entenmann's" and "Alium" CRIMEAPPLE interpolates vintage Bad Boy and Notorious B.I.G. lyrics, paying respect to a previous generation of paper chasers and letting the world know it's always been about the Benjamins.
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