Vic Mensa – There’s Alot Going On

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Impressed by his early imitations of Chance the Rapper (“Tweakin’” and “Cocoa Butter Kisses”) to the rather excellent hip-house of “Down On My Luck” to the Kanye West-supplied “I’m Mad” and the diversity between each; disappointed by his inability to put out a proper long-player since his 2013’s INNANETAPE – so he tides us over in the meantime with an EP. Except I’m not sure what to do with this thing: forgetting obvious flaws like miscalculating his ability to sing that results in lackluster choruses of “Danger” and “Shades of Blue” (whose choruses feel like they were pasted from a different song) and still not out-growing his tendency towards cheese (“I’m the chief like a Halo”; “I hope you know I can do you proper, proper / Like a doctor, doctor”), very little here impresses – mostly the washed out piano of the non-chorus bits of “Shades of Blue” and maybe the autobiographical title track. And I guess he’s tackling bigger, Important issues. Pitchfork’s Matthew Strauss notes that his music “lacked personality” and that “With There’s Alot (sic) Going On, you can hear him settling into himself.” Euhhhhhh? His previously shown omnivorous appetite was one of his most distinguishing factors, and if anything, this EP lacks personality, from sounding like Drake on “Danger” and “Liquor Locker” in its awkward sing-song verses, to sounding like Kanye West on basically everything else.

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