By Malcolm Morrow Ray Kincaid is back after receiving critical acclaim and accolades on his previous project Artistic Depression. 2016 saw Ray being e...
By Malcolm Morrow
Ray Kincaid is back after receiving critical acclaim and accolades on his previous project Artistic Depression. 2016 saw Ray being exposed to an all-new audience after a slew of performances across the city at a diverse array of venues. He’s building on that momentum and giving us a new body of work, “Bizarre Arcade 2: Nostalgia Kung Fu” that continues his nostalgia and anime-tinged lyrics but there’s also some more diverse topics this time around including depression, women, his past and much more.
The opening track “Welcome Back 2nd Impact/Handshake 2” is the perfect balance of Ray’s otaku rooted material and his reality rooted material.
The vibe of “Welcome Back 2nd Impact” is chill and relaxing. It helps ease you into a zone of comfort before listening to the album.
“Handshake 2” is a hard-hitting track aimed at the institutional racism and police brutality that permeates throughout society. I’ve always liked that Ray doesn’t pull punches lyrically and says what he means rather than using “safer” words. I think this is one of the reasons people connect with his music.
“Dojo 3” is a great example of an expected track from Kincaid, the instrumental is quirky and features a “Bird is the Word” sample that Ray lyrically decimates with quick bars filled with hidden intricacy. There’s a particular set of bars that will catch the ear of any One Piece fans.
“Cleopatra’s Revenge” is savagely petty and brutally honest. Just listen to it.
That’s just three tracks in and so far Ray is on a roll.
“Jin Kazama 2” and “Continue?” are conceptually dope and feature some great lyrics about finding yourself and continuing to chase your dreams regardless of how tough the journey is.
“Cleopatra’s Pool” is a jazzy little cut that features some lovely crooning from Cymone (Ray and Cymone was a great collaboration, by the way. I really hope that track they did that sampled “Gimme Shelter” gets released one day).
We get a look at the past of Kincaid on the track “Street Fighters and Drug Dealers” as he speaks on growing up in a hood environment and choosing to be a fighting game enthusiast rather another product of the negativity. The second half of this track is silky smooth and features a dope beat and effortlessly impactful lyrics.
The posse cut “Sundays at Offbeat” is a great collaboration and features one of the best verses I’ve heard from Alexander FRE$CO. James Virgodo brings out the usual heavy artillery to unleash a barrage of bars like a special move to end the assault.
“Cleopatra’s Blue Hair” is a nice cut that features some elements of Anderson.Paak and serves as a conclusion to the Cleopatra Trilogy within the project. Listen to all three tracks in order to get the full story.
The project ends with a big party on “There’s a Stalker on the Dance Floor” with plenty of grooves sure to get people two-stepping at any party. The vibes are definitely on point with this one, reminiscent of Thundercat and Bootsy Collins. Just a funky good time.
“Bizarre Arcade 2” is a great addition to Kincaid’s already impressive discography and it’s sure to satisfy fans new and old. He’s definitely progressing and advancing his craft. Sure to be in the daily rotation for a while to catch all of the hidden easter eggs in the tracks. Kick back, pick up the sticks and take a trip into the mind of Kincaid.
Follow him everywhere via @AyeKincaid