Conrizzle – “Eas†ern W∆YNE ∆LuMNI” (Album Review)

Eastern Wayne Alumni

I hate new rappers. Nowadays my DM’s are filled with mediocre to tragic struggle rappers asking me to “check out” their music, and to “give them a chance.” Unfortunately, I’ve been disappointed far too many times to give most of them the benefit of the doubt. However, after listening to Eas†ern W∆YNE ∆LuMNI, I might have to reevaluate my stance.

Conrizzle is a rapper and producer from Goldsboro North Carolina. He has a story to tell, and the gumption to tell it. His Southern sounds combine the laidback game of Pimp C, the introspective storytelling of Big Boi, and the brazen honesty of Trick Daddy. Listening to his music made me want to go to the nearest liquor store and cop a bottle of Hennessy, roll something up, and let the music take me to that magical land where Taraji P. Henson is my main chick, and the Knicks have finally won a championship ring. References to gold teeth, purple drank, pimpin, and the incomparable Bishop Don Juan instantly caught my ear and made me curious. In an era where many artists attempt to use nostalgia as a gimmick, Conrizzle uses it to give depth and perspective to the stories within his songs. What separates him from his contemporaries is the fact that what he’s saying is real and genuine. His message comes alive in your headphones and sucks you in.

Furthermore, what makes Rizzle stand out from the host of Southern rappers that have flooded as of late is the combination of his flow, content, and crafty ear when it comes to his production. The North Carolina rhymer finds a way to give the listener a vivid snapshot of his world in which he’s surrounded by drugs, doubters, and adversity. On the track “Elephant on Hollowell Street” he gives us all tour of his hometown where he is surrounded by ‘nothing but drugs and murder.” In the same breath, he finds a way to thrive with bravado that would make the coldest mack think twice about leaving his girl alone with the rapper, also known as Loochey Lovely. On the other side, Eas†ern W∆YNE ∆LuMNI also reveals its creator’s vulnerabilities with tracks such as “Granny Whip.” In this song, Conrizzle opens up about his family and upbringing, alluding to how it has made him the man that he is today. These features combine to ensure that Conrizzle is an artist that is easily relatable. He honestly portrays the good and bad parts of his life, showing true artistic integrity.

The beats on Eas†ern W∆YNE ∆LuMNI are tough. There’s no other way to describe them. They’re gritty, soulful, and straight up Southern. The bounce seems to always be below the surface, providing the support and foundation for every song on the project. The album also serves to showcase Conrizzle’s beatmaking skills that are equally impressive. “Drugzz,” “Mama House,” and “Aleister Crowley” are the standout tracks that Rizzle produced, and serve to prove that this man is truly a double threat.

Overall, Eas†ern W∆YNE ∆LuMNI is a must-hear anyone who has two ears, and a love for great music. The beats bang in the whip, and the lyrics stick with you long after the song is over. Conrizzle made this music snob a believer, and I’m sure he’ll do the same for you too.

Purchase Eas†ern W∆YNE ∆LuMNI via Bandcamp.