Local rapper releases tense, conceptual project
Ever since the rise in popularity of hip-hop music, its mass appeal and influence have reached mainstream and local music scenes alike, and the Racine/Kenosha area is no exception. From the Cactus Club and the Hatrix Bar in Kenosha to Greg’s Catering in Racine, the various venues give room for plenty of artists to perform, and a big example of a local musician is Shaggy No Scoob. Shaggy’s been busy performing his newest records since 2017, and his latest album, “#SadTrap”, is one of the most emotional and impactful releases South-Eastern Wisconsin has witnessed in recent years.
Carefully Detailed Layout
Drawing from various musical influences and personal experiences, Shaggy crafts a solid pallet that’s both dark and reflective, using melancholy and trap-styled beats to go with the more depressing themes of the project. The intro, sung by DoMo BankZ, is an excellent title track, beginning the introspective tone that the other songs continue. This track leads into the first single, “Losing Control”, featuring Ethan Anomaly and Miggy Bars. Gliding through with swelling synths and perfectly concocted drums, the tales they weave of mental tension and devastating events define themselves on the verses and chorus alike.
From this point onward, the record begins a transformation, bringing out different scenarios with which he explains his thoughts. The primary example here is “Red Light Interlude”, where our protagonist describes his thoughts of running the red light, but just as a means of personal reflection. Other main cuts in this style include “Love Games” and “A Million Years”, the latter featuring Spencer Charnas of Ice Nine Kills. Swirling backdrops and rattling high hats paint the backdrops for these withdrawn and icy songs, and the sung hooks contrast beautifully from the dark, sharp verses.
The Necessities of the Record
When discussing major moments on the record, the outro is a staple, titled “X” after XXXTentacion. Shaggy closes out the record by dedicating his creation to the murdered artist, explains what XXX did for this album’s sound and content, and using the last words to wish him and those closest to him peace and well wishes.
Overall, I was personally really impressed by what Shaggy No Scoob brought to the table here, combining elements of trap rap, emo hip-hop and even slight jazz-rap tendencies for an intoxicating and relatable listen. The personal narratives, the diverse but dense flows and the pretty but enveloping production present a unique adventure to be cherished, both as a studio album and a live experience.