Watsky Hits a Home Run on ‘x Infinity’
Alternative/underground rapper and poet Watsky delivers the album of his career with the lengthy, but exceptional ‘x Infinity’.
Sometimes, the most underrated and underappreciated artists are the crème de la crème. That’s the case with rapper/poet Watsky, who’s been “on the grind” for years. Unfortunately, the talented artist doesn’t get his just due – bummer! Regardless, his latest project, x Infinity is worthwhile times infinity. It’s jam-packed with hits, even if they are hits that don’t align with radio’s definition of hits.
“Tiny Glowing Screens” & “Talking to Myself”
“You’re officially welcome to grab your crotches!” Woo! Opener “Tiny Glowing Screens, Pt. 3” – a follow-up to previous songs of the same title – finds Watsky on autopilot. Quick-paced profane rhymes, Watsky sounds confident and untouchable. The momentum continues seamlessly on “Talking to Myself,” a reflective, moody cut that should be relatable to everyone who hears it. On the second verse, in particular, the MC goes H.A.M.
“Have you felt a little off today / had a lot to say / but wound up talking to yourself? / I’ve been hunting for a kindly ear / but couldn’t find one near / and wound up talking to myself.”
“Chemical Angel” tackles abstaining… from prescription pills of course!
“My doctor says I’m being reckless (reckless) / that quitting’s risky for my health (and I’ll f*ck up my life real bad).”
Watsky claims that the medicine prescribed for his epilepsy affects him as a person, and he’d rather take the risks associated with not using it.
“Little Slice” (featuring Danny Skyhigh McClain) is well-produced, particularly the soulful cues – dusty beat, electric piano, and robust bass line. Continually enjoyable and showcasing Watsky’s agility, “Little Slice” doesn’t quite rival the opening trio. The same might be said of the jazzy, sometimes bizarre “Springtime in New York.” To its credit, Watsky’s poetry is superb…well, arguably until the sex twists it.
“Pink Lemonade” & “Don’t Be Nice”
Standout “Pink Lemonade” brilliantly uses jazz cues (big band), referencing numerous aspects of pop culture. One of the funniest includes:
“North side plenty, south side pennies / I vote Yeezus- Deez Nuts 2020.”
“Don’t Be Nice” is absurd – in the most impressive fashion. Chocked full of superb punchlines, as dumb as it goes, Watsky’s flow is awesome. The best moment comes towards the end when the Watsky and production are in sync with a killer jazzy groove.
“Yes Britannia” sounds as British as its title, thanks to awesome production. The other aspect of its British roots? “Yes Britannia” is about a break-up song with a British girl.
“I’m pleading with the Crown today / that’s all I got to say / I will not lie to you I had to try my luck across the sea / now we’re history / I’m saying goodbye to you.”
“Love Letters” finds Watsky pounding his chest. He has every right to. His rhymes are electric, filled with passion, speed, and vigor.
“This is for the kids whipping up some home-cooked / spitting 86 bars, f*ckin’ no hook.”
“Stick to Your Guns”
“Stick to Your Guns” (featuring Julia Nunes) is hands down one of the most moving records from x Infinity, tackling mass shootings. The first verse is rapped from the perspective of the perpetrator.
“I’ll be gone when you read this so I just wanted to say / I’m sorry to the couple decent people who got in the way…”
The second verse comes from the perspective of the media, who Watsky essentially accuses of missing the bigger picture in favor of ‘being seen.’ The third and final verse come from politicians who he pains as having their own political interests in mind. “Stick to Your Guns” makes the listener think and ponder relevant issues within today’s society, specifically in the United States.
“Brave New World” is as dramatic as expected, both from the perspective of the MC and the production. This exquisitely showcases Watsky’s creativity. “Going Down” contrasts, opting for the dumber approach, with ample sexual references. It’s not meant to be serious and shouldn’t be evaluated as such. For what it is, it’s fire.
“So let’s say you’re always with your lips around a…”
Use your imagination for the rest… “Midnight Heart” deals with fair-weather fans and haters.
Lovely Thing Suite
“Lovely Thing Suit: Conversations” is morbid, hypothetically referencing death, specifically Watsky’s parents. “Lovely Thing Suite: Knots” is more ambitious, with the poet/rapper discussing the life and talents of pianist Arthur Rubenstein, accompanied by classical music and theatrical production. It brilliantly segues into “Lovely Thing Suite: Roses,” a return to a more urban-oriented sound. “Lovely Thing Suite: Theories” concludes the suite, once more referencing Arthur Rubenstein. Bonus track “Exquisite Corpse” closes x Infinity epically. A true juggernaut, it features seven guest rappers, with nine verses in all!
All in all, x Infinity is a terrific album. Watsky never misses the mark, always showcasing his magnificent, poetic talents. The only rub with x Infinity is its length – it lasts an ambitious 75 minutes total. Still, it’s an awesome 75 minutes – the ultimately flex-fest for a musician who deserves wider recognition than he’s received.
Gems: “Tiny Glowing Screens, Pt. 3,” “Talking to Myself,” “Chemical Angel,” “Pink Lemonade,” “Don’t Be Nice,” “Stick to Your Guns” & “Lovely Thing Suite: Knots”