Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Artist of the Day: Mac Lethal

Slug may have expressed his discontent with the other members of Rhymesayers on The Family Sign's track "Bad Bad Daddy," but Mac Lethal is one of his offspring that doesn't deserve to be chastised. Lethal, probably best known for his "Look At Me Now" spoof video featuring him rapping about his breakfast to the tune of Chris Brown's hit song, fled the Rhymesayers coop a few years ago but made his mark as one of the most talented rappers on the label in his short time there. Specializing in storytelling and fast rapping, Lethal is a verbal force to be reckoned with. He cut his teeth in underground battle rapping clubs around the Midwest and did well enough to catch the attention of Slug himself. Verbal aggression is a common theme in Mac Lethal's work- from his name to his in-your-face style to lines like "Lethal in your town/people hit the ground," there's no escaping his oral assaults.

However, his aggressiveness appears to be just a foil to his more vulnerable and playful side. While other Rhymesayers like Slug and Blueprint tend to focus on 'real world' themes like poverty and the pains of living, Lethal opts to experiment with varieties of themes and characters in his songs. "The Sketchbook" is a 12-minute long sampler of short, vaguely related stories about mundane things, including a hand of poker. "The Make Out Bandit," a recurring character in Lethal's raps, is an apparent alter-ego for himself; a side that can only manifest itself when Lethal is thoroughly intoxicated. The best example of Mac Lethal downright having fun would be "Bareknuckle Chris," a story of a tiny bar owner who gets beat up by customers in order to increase sales for the night. It's a story with a moral, a funny premise and occasionally clunky lines that make it sound more genuine than it might be. Among other things, Mac Lethal is a master at song construction and manipulating words to fit into his lines.

What really separates Mac Lethal from every other unfamiliar white rapper is his ability to mix up emotions. At any given moment he can be tugging at your heartstrings, making you laugh or kicking you in the groin with his lyrics. His delivery really sells all that he has to say, and the beats behind him are usually pretty solid as well. He's worth a listen based on versatility alone, but it's the talent and lyrics that really sell Mac Lethal.


Look At Me Now Parody

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