The $uicideboy$‘ latest album titled Stop Staring At The Shadows is out at midnight and I’m pleased to report that overall it’s an enjoyable listen. This is the duo’s second full-length studio LP but if you’re a genuine fan, you’ll know that this is the group’s 45th-ish release. If you are a fan, by now you’ll also know what to expect from an $B album: a collection of short tracks which contain heavy beats, a throwback ’90s Memphis Hip-Hop style (and samples) peppered here and there with downbeat and violent lyrical content. In that respect this album does not disappoint.
Stop Staring At The Shadows begins with “All Dogs Go To Heaven” which sports a simplistic melody and a bass-heavy beat that contains a rapid high-hat. With lyrics like “Leave them all burning, triple six degrees, Heard they started hating, wanna murder thee. Yung Christ turned to Satan, bless the devilish, now I get my joy from fucking chasing death”, this is a strong opener. After this first song however, next comes the album’s least satisfying songs: “I Wanna Be Romanticized” and “One Last Look At The Damage”. “I Wanna Be Romanticized” contains an awful singing hook, it’s the kind of song I wish the duo would stop making. “One Last Look At The Damage” is also verging into Hip-Pop but thankfully it’s short.
The next track “[Whispers Indistinctly]” is much better. It has a pleasant mellow sound thanks to the muffled melody and Ruby’s precise syllable-beat-matching flow is quite impressive (“catch me at the cemetery visiting my enemies”). “Mega Zeph” sports a horror-movie sound (with a bit of that Ironside siren sound for good measure). There’s also a touch of thrash metal-style screaming for a bit of vocal variance.
“Putrid Pride” also contains singing but it’s more tolerable than the two aforementioned “poppy” songs. This is then followed by “That Just Isn’t Empirically Possible” (a reference to Stanley Uris from the 1990 version of Stephen King’s IT). The relaxed production sounds like a lute, possibly an Italian mandolin or a Greek buzuki and if that’s the case, maybe this is the duo going back to their ancestral roots? Once again there’s some singing but once again it’s tolerable and the line “Knock knock, here comes the Glock cocked, 9 mili pop pop pop” is reminiscent of Bone Thugs’ “Shotz To Tha Double Glock” (a group who also blended R&B with Hip-Hop in a credible way).
“What The Fuck Is Happening” is next and it too contains a Bone-esque element. Towards the end of the track, the “screaming bloody murder” lyric reminded me of Krayzie Bone’s flow. Along with the buzzing bassline and thumping beat I wished this track was longer.
“Bizarro” at 3:34 is the longest song but since its not the best, it could have been shorter. With some autotuned vocals veering into the realms of pop music, this isn’t something to revisit when you’re replaying the album. I’ll also add that the line “can’t feel my face” is by now a hackneyed drug lyric.
“Scope Set” contains the sound of gunshots and police sirens and the production features some more buzzing bass. The Juicy J sample (“Come and get some 187 if your chased”) also adds to the song’s soundscape, making it quintessentially southern.
“Fuck Your Culture” also sports a chopped vocal sample (“Glock Tight, Smoked Out”) from the song of the same name. With a great verse: “Coming in this bitch, I’m blooding, gunning, running with the devils, man, Triple the six up, fuck my bitch up, flipping crucifixes, man. Spawn of Satan ridin’ with a couple weapons on ’em, 2-11 tossed from heaven, Junkie creepin’ out a coma, tell me how you want it, demons clinching on my heart, boy. Creepin’ in the 7th, down that motherfucker, Saint Bernard, Overdosed on heroin, too much Xanny, God can’t stand me, fuck a standard, fuck your culture, motherfuck a fuckin’ Grammy”. There’s also intermittent evil laughs making for a very satisfying horrorcore joint.
The album ends with “…And To Those I Love, Thanks For Sticking Around” a relaxed track with more singing. The upbeat sound is juxtaposed against the downbeat lyrics such as “never really felt like I belonged”, “kill me slow” and “I don’t see what’s the point of going on”.
The stand out tracks are “All Dogs Go To Heaven”, “[Whispers Indistinctly]”, “Mega Zeph”, “That Just Isn’t Empirically Possible”, “What The Fuck Is Happening”, “Scope Set”, and “Fuck Your Culture” which in a 12-track LP is not bad (just over half). And I have to say that when a song is a good on this LP, it’s some of the group’s best work: “[Whispers Indistinctly]”, “What The Fuck Is Happening”, and “Scope Set”.
Lyrically, as you’d expect, there’s utterances of “demons”, “devils”, “coffins”, and “fuckboys”. There’s also mentions of drugs (“mixing chemicals trying to find a compound” from “[Whispers Indistinctly]”), money (“all they see is dollar signs” from “I Wanna Be Romanticized”), and even “alien invasion” (from “All Dogs Go To Heaven”). In terms of delivery, Ruby Da Cherry is generally consistent. $rim however, whenever channeling his alter ego in certain tracks (“All Dogs Go To Heaven”, “Mega Zeph”, “Putrid Pride”, and “Fuck Your Culture”) uses an alternative voice which is sometimes distracting.
After their Live Fast, Die Whenever EP, Stop Staring At The Shadows is another satisfying release from the $uicideboy$. Although not stylistically focussed as their 2019 extended play, production-wise, this album is solid and consistent.
For the most part this release is enjoyable. I don’t particularly care for the ‘Boys’ pop-friendly shit but on repeat listens, I found myself not skipping past those tracks all that much. But like I said in my other article about $uicideboy$, I wish they’d make a full-length, dark rap, from-start-to-finish album but even with the potentially radio-friendly sounds here and there, Stop Staring At The Shadows is an entertaining LP. Without the weaker tracks (“I Wanna Be Romanticized”, “One Last Look At The Damage”, “…And To Those I Love, Thanks For Sticking Around”) this could have been an 8/10 or even a 9/10 but as it stands, this release is no better than their previous EP (but it’s much better than their generally disappointing debut I Want To Die In New Orleans in my opinion). At only 27 to 28 minutes long, this album doesn’t overstay its welcome and it’s always good to hear a band not changing their tried and tested style. Maybe this’ll bring the group more attention and more popularity.
Out Of The Shadows.
I’ve tried getting into their music, but I can’t. It’s just generic scream rap with some decent production, like SCARLXRD. I don’t think they’re anything like Triple 6 Clique at all… I think things like RVIDXR KLVN come the closest. I still believe that the dark grimy Memphis sound if Three Six died completely when Lord Infamous died…
To each their own I guess. Three Six Mafia weren’t anything special either; they made a handful of decent songs then sold out and got an Oscar. In terms of horrorcore double-time, Bone made two classic albums then sold out too. These days with so many average albums around, you can at least make a “best of” playlist of all the tracks you like.