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I can picture the typical Nerdcore Kawaii Girl walking into a comic shop in Seattle. She picks up the new issue of Secret Wars #7, even though she already has it with her Marvel Now digital subscription. She strolls over to the bargain rack and picks up some manga, some Vampirella and Supercrooks comics. Satisfied, she goes to the register. She spots a stack of CD’s on the edge of the register and picks one up. Her eyes get big when she sees that it’s Shubzilla and Bill Beats. She loved their last album, “Dinner and a Movie”! There’s a picture of an exploding car on the CD cover.
“Looks like this release, “Boomers”, is an action-movie Concept Album,” she thinks. She puts the CD in her basket as well and checks out…
…One week later
The door to the same Seattle comic shop opens. We see knee-high leather boots and skintight Levi jeans. Her midriff exposed under the sleeveless shirt that states, “I Love Bad Girls” featuring Harley Quinn as the main image. The man at the register drops his shoulders and sighs, shaking his head as he watches her shop for her comics. It’s the same Kawaii Girl from last week. She’s the 3rd girl who purchased Boomers and transformed into a new-age Beatrix Kiddo.
She’s been “Boomerized”
If you were a fan of “Dinner and a Movie”, you probably were like the rest of us and fell in love with Bill Beats’ mellow production. The samples were chopped with precision that almost made us forget that they were samples. The production on Boomers seems to be more…cinematic.
Yes, cinematic. Which is not a bad thing at all in the case of Boomers, which could have easily been called, the Soundtrack for the Motion Picture “Boomers”. The cover photo features a car on fire which, I am assuming, is the direct result of a “Boomer”. The image is a perfect description of things to come in the next 6 action scenes. In fact, after you hear the EP in full you will be pretty sure that Shubz was the one who set the explosives.
The EP opens with Movement 1. There are 3 Movements on the EP. I can’t help but think that they serve as the calm before the storm continues. The Movement tracks on the EP are basically a sample of the wind blowing with door chimes clanging in the background. As if there’s a hurricane brewing and the town’s been evacuated. As if on cue, Hurricane Shubzilla blows in after Movement 1 on “Get Up Off Me”.
On “Get Up Off of Me” it’s obvious that someone, who Shubz wants to remain nameless, has pissed her off. The hook makes that clear for us:
I think, I think, I think you should get up off me/
You must have me mistaken for a fucking softie/
Got 10 seconds hey this is your final warning/
I think, I think, I think you should get up off me/
My favorite stanza of this song comes on the second verse:
Can’t rely on hateful eyes betrayers to my circle/
Resentment, lies, it’s no surprise they wanna throw me hurdles/
They Judas and they Brutus but it’s me who got the dagger/
And 40 pieces silver ain’t enough to kill my swagger
The great thing about this song is how she makes it clear that she is taking the high road but, don’t keep pushing…this is your final warning!
“Pump it Up” finds Shubz getting her tongue-twist on. As a native of the Chicagoland region where the distinctive rap style has it’s origins, I have to say Shubz held her own on this one. The flow didn’t didn’t sound forced at all but, that’s all I could focus on at first. Which leads to the criticism that I do have of this song is I would have loved to see a grittier tone on this track. The production is hardcore as hell and I had a hard time focusing on her lyrics at first because it was like listening to Jamie Kennedy on Malibu’s Most Wanted. The lyrics were dope, I just think that if she was as gritty as she is on RBF (see below) this would have stood out a lot more for me.
Meanwhile, the next Movement track that reminds us that the town is still evacuated thanks to Hurricane Shubzilla…
RBF transforms a theory that I’ve been saying for years into fact. It is possible to sound intelligent and hardcore at the same damn time. Bill Beats gives us a hard ass Above The Law-era beat. I may be slightly biased toward this track because my favorite era in hip-hop history was filled with production like this. Anyways, yes, this song is all about a mean mug! Yes, you guessed it RBF stands for Resting Bitch Face. I could picture her RBF, as she turns around with an upturned lip from the front seat of a ’64 Impala…on the street formerly known as Nerdcore Blvd:
“Check the RBF…cause I don’t like you/
Check the RBF…cause this is my crew”
9MM, with a sample from Boogie Down Productions, “9MM Go Bang” from Criminal Minded is also solid. Bill Beats set the tone of the production well for the lyrics of this song as Shubz makes comparisons in the 2nd verse of this song that shows what makes her different from “that-nameless-person-who-inspired-this-awesome-album”.
Listeners will have to see the video for “Necklace” to get the full experience. Shubzilla goes full Sybil in this. American Psycho doesn’t have anything on Shubz. The song is sick as hell and the production says “Wait! Approaching Psycho-Killer Zone!”
The Story of Murder does exactly what it’s title suggests, tells you a story of Murder using some gangsta ass spoken word at the beginning and after her verse. The spoken word along with the atmospheric pad and synth in the background reminds me of a classic Vincent Price theme. If I were a gambler, I would bet that Bill Beats is a fan of classic horror flicks. I love the way this song ends:
“Stench of Flesh and a final cry
Thats all there was…
So with a cleansing breath sweeter than before
You survived and he is ash on the floor, ash on the floor, ash on the floor…floor..floor…”
…and then Klofenpop comes in with a WICKED guitar accompaniment that has me comparing him to Stan the Guitar Man. The structure & production on this song is nothing short of amazing!
In conclusion, Shubzilla & Bill Beats Sophomore EP is a really solid piece of work. The EP shows Shubzilla’s growth as an emcee and Bill Beat’s versatility as a producer. As a producer/emcee duo it is necessary to have extraordinary chemistry. Shubz and Bill Beats complement each other well and I look forward to hearing more from this duo in the future!
Rating – 4 Lightsabers
Go pick this album up today! Here is the Official video for “Necklace”