Bright lights seem to fume from around you, swelling and contracting as you catch the full sensory bombast of your surroundings. Time slows and everything is black and the deepest blue, the only other color perceptible by your bleary eyes almost as dark as the void around you. Your senses are at once dulled and sharper than they’ve ever been, or as sharp as you can clearly recall.
And then there’s, like, a lightcycle race and “Lebowski” shows up and…it’s hard to remember exactly what happened, but man, for $13.50, it was kinda aiight for a remake.
Like a smoked out evening at the multiplex, producer Lawz Spoken‘s CHRON series is a reliable source of everyday themes wrapped in big-budget aspirations. A sequel of sorts to the original CHRON EP with Sandpeople member OnlyOne, CHRON: Legacy delivers on the same premise of the original – very digital, almost futuristic production paying tribute to and referencing Disney’s “Tron” and its 2010 sequel – but switches up the batter. Lawz, aka “MSTR CNTRL”, is still on the boards, but this time Sandpeople’s Illmaculate is the star of the show, with OnlyOne playing co-host/frequent scene stealer like a Portland Raekwon and Ghostface.
The change complements the series extremely well; the Illmac and Only already have an established chemistry on wax (the two released an Outkast-style double solo LP called Police Brutality in 2009) where Only plays up unhinged, lurid tales of dope slinging and jail stints and Illmaculate does what he does best – this sort of over-arching larger-than-large persona that’s not nearly as vague or obtuse as it seems on first listen but whose themes becomes more accessible over further listens.
At this point, anyone paying attention should know what to expect from an Ilmaculate release; clean, cadence-heavy rapping, arch themes, some reefer references sprinkled in like po-po brand crack powder. But the difference-maker on CHRON: Legacy, besides OnlyOne’s endearing role as Sandpeople’s scummy foil, is that the grand scale and dramatic flourishes Lawz uses to fashion a kind of cinematic experience perfectly suits lyrics that have increasingly traded between stately pomp and matter-of-fact ruminations on greatness and Illmac’s own placement in its echelons. And if that’s what you’re going for, wouldn’t you want THX-level beats to support your divine right?
CHRON: Legacy is available for free download via Bandcamp.