Sunday, February 5, 2017

Fair Shake Review: Sky - Riplon

Sky - Riplon
(Genre: Hip Hop/Rap/Trap Rap)

Riplon is a Brooklyn, NY born emcee that I've crossed paths with down here in Florida. After seeing him perform down here, I knew he was an artist to watch as he truly is a wordsmith. His style is written in such a way that emotion is clearly emoted and versatile to fit any mood. This was confirmed by the 7th Day EP & the At Home EP. Hence, the announcement of his first full length album, SKY, had me anticipating its release.

This LP traverses a wide spectrum of hip hop production from east coast boom bap to the moody trap sounds of the south and even an experimental track in the mix. Riplon tells you stories of his past that makes him the man he is today, his current ambitions & struggles to make them realized, as well as displaying his lyrical prowess. He seizes the opportunity to show off his traditional use of poetry (i.e. "The Idea of Dying Alone") amidst his witty wordplay and skillful storytelling. This creates quite a dynamic listen throughout the project.

You really get a sense of his upbringing in tracks such as "Pop Off", "Sunset", & "Do it for Love" which both have drastically different styles. He continues to broaden his rhyme style while promoting the message to never limit yourself with songs like "The Conscious Mind" & "Sky feat. Prince Golden". Then insight behind his psyche are displayed in "Searching for My Soul" & "Man of the Cloth". The former has a chorus that I personally couldn't care for, but the verses are standouts on the project. My own favorites would include the aforementioned "The Conscious Mind" & "Pop Off" along with "Killin' it feat. Richie Guapo" & "Sunshine".

In summary, I would say that this is a masterfully crafted LP. The naturalness he brings to each style of genre is impressive enough, but his way with words leave little to be desired. The sequencing of the tracklist are also very well done, making it a very cohesive listen sonically and thematically. I recommend this to fans of other versatile rappers such as Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, J. Cole, & maybe Big K.R.I.T.  Riplon is certainly an artist to watch as he has the trajectory to continually expanding his skill set while maintaining a high standard for lyricism. Honestly, the sky truly isn't his limit!

More on Riplon:
Killin' it (One of the singles)
The Idea of Dying Alone (The a capella interlude)
Mieux Magazine Interview (Promo for SKY)
Riplon Live at the Market (The first time I saw him perform)
I Can't Breathe (From the At Home EP)

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