Growing up is something I feel we never truly understand until we’re reflecting upon it. In college I realized how childish I was in high school, now at the age of 26 going on 27, I see how immature I was in college, you get the point. Texas emcee G@k goes through the process of reflection on multiple levels on his debut mixtape “Distortion”.
Now I’m not going to pretend that this is a super conscious backpacker record, because it’s not, but that doesn’t mean you can’t send a message. I didn’t know what to expect going into this tape, the introduction in “Nobody Has To Die” is a banger and G@k really just tosses the listener into his world no matter how jarring it may be. Stories of drugs, late nights, women and more permeate “Nobody Has To Die” however the very next track “Southern Comfort” is a joint for the whip, the club, the party wherever you and your friends are hanging that night. The hazy instrumental produced by mjNichols gives G@k a prime soundscape for one of my favorite tracks on the album.
On my first listen with the record in the background, “Distortion” sounds like a compilation of the best tracks G@k has put together as of late. Backtrack and give the mixtape a genuine listen you’ll notice something. Track 7 “…sometimes” you hear G@k rapping with a more personal tone, he’s still rapping with braggadocio, he’s still commanding the mic, but he’s also taking a bit more of the blame for how things are, you hear him open up more to the audience and “…sometimes” sets the stage for the rest of the project. “Insecure Is The New Black” caught me all the way by surprise. G@k leaves it all on the table, insecurities and the unhealthy relationships & actions caused by it. On an album that actually puts a microscope on toxic masculinity it is sobering hearing G@k talk about the other side of it.
“Distortion” was a pleasant surprise, it’s deeper than it sounds at first listen, but at the same time doesn’t take itself too seriously. The production on here is a hidden gem in my opinion, it reminded me of Ice Cube records, vintage sounding yet holding the gangster vibe. You can check out “Distortion” below, let me know what you think of this one in the comments.