Album Reviews

Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire – Merry eX-Mas & Suck My Dick

on January 03, 2012, 8:00am
equire Merry-eX-Mas-Suck-My-Dick C+
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Falling somewhere between a brash Wu-Tang clansman and a quirky Def Jux alum, Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire just might be the most alluring of the current flood of underground rappers. The Brooklyn native’s newest mixtape, the terribly titled Merry eX-Mas and Suck My Dick, arrives less than four months on the heels of his breakthrough tape, Lost in Translation, but it hardly feels hurried or forced. Rather, it’s testimony to why eXquire has leapt up the ranks of underground rap as quickly as he has. (And no, it has virtually nothing to do with the holiday season apart from its title and Bad Santa-evoking cover art.)

The essence of eXquire’s pull comes via his quaint aura, and Merry eX-Mas features some of his most idiosyncratic (and best) moments yet. After 90 seconds of some of eXquire’s hardest rapping on the tape, the last chunk of “Two 22’s b/w Twenty Two 2’s” is, for no apparent reason, played backward. “Killah Tofu”, featuring one on-point Danny Brown, is very likely the only rap song ever that samples the similarly titled song from the bygone Nickelodeon show Doug. On “RIP Payso”, eXquire nabs the sparkling beat of ASAP Rocky’s “Peso”, replacing ASAP’s intro line “I be that pretty motherfucka” with “I be that psycho motherfucka.” The rest of the track finds eXquire providing a convincing case for why he’s just that.

Which brings us to the rhymes. As a lyricist, eXquire thrives on being something of a grouch – he might even come off to some as unapologetically misogynistic and homophobic. Between barrages of assonance and breathless double-time flows, he rhymes of financial failures, depression, and lingering alcoholism; sometimes, it’s plausible to think of him as the Bukowski of rap or something. But thankfully, he balances the occasional near-melodrama with subtle comic relief. At the end of the day, though, eXquire succeeds as an emcee because of how deftly he plays to the feel of a given track (check out how he blends in with the gurgling subterranean murk of “Huzzah 2“), not necessarily because of the quality of his rhymes or flow.

Granted, Merry eX-Mas is a low-budget tape that was put out to capitalize on the instant success of Lost in Translation. But it doesn’t sound that way, which only further sells eXquire as the real deal. Let’s see how this year pans out for him, though.

Essential Tracks: “Killah Tofu”, “Nightmare on Fed Street”

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