Hip-hop occasionally seems to get a bad wrap. The genre’s critics may be quick to point out the explicit content that defines it and makes it the important powerhouse that it is, but there’s so much more to it. Some modern rappers like Spirit D go above the usual tropes. He may still rap about having fun, but he also raps about spirituality and enlightenment, among many other thought provoking topics. Spiritual rappers traditionally focus on bringing people together through awareness of the higher consciousness. The album “Glitch In The Matrix” leads us along that path, as Spirit D unfolds all of his storytelling skills alongside his cerebral rhymes that dig deep into the human psyche.
The 12-track album, “Glitch In The Matrix” sees Spirit D wrestling with massive concepts and dealing out tons of anecdotes, as he raps his way through some mind-blowing concepts and down to earth truths. He kicks the project off with the “Acapella Intro”, which quickly sets the tone and mood of the album, as well as gives us a first glimpse into his skillset. If a window into anything, the track displays the always-thinking mind of Spirit D.
When the jangling sounds and skittering hi-hats of “You” set in, expectations run high, and Spirit D delivers big time. The artist showcases his artistic maturity by allowing himself to wander through subversively dense philosophical quandaries packaged neatly into his relentless flow and wordplay. “Gangstalk Freestyle” on the other hand, rides on a shuffling laidback rhythm and Spirit D’s conversational tone, which is just as impactful.
Spirit D floats through the surreal and thumping beat of “Truth Be Told” with his detailed commentary, before switching the template on “MMM Freestyle”, where the backing vocal chants play off the rapper’s resonant tones. It makes for an intriguing track with some urgent and edgy rhyming. Spirit D sounds hungry and lucid, offering dynamic songs like this one that provides checkpoints in the album where listeners can zone into lashes of sharpness that can cut through any attention spans.
The greatest elements of “Woke Up” and “5d Shift” can be found in their layered depth, forcing the listener to commit to Spirit D’s narratives with their naked ears. Every bar feels like something Spirit D is unloading from the deepest parts of his chest even when his enchanting voice rarely needs to raise above a carefully modulated tone. The album is something special when it slows down and stares directly at the human experience, as it does on the ear warming “Alive” and the slapping “Hard Facts”.
By the time you press play on the driven groove of “Blunt”, it is already clear in your mind that this is a fantastically conceived and realized album. Never preachy or pretentious, Spirit D spits his truths in a stream of consciousness. His impassioned and dynamic performance ensures the spotlight never leaves him in spite of the exhilarating instrumental. This is followed by the playful beat of “Peekaboo”, and then the piano-driven closer “Fuck The System”.
All throughout “Glitch In The Matrix”, Spirit D’s brutally honest considerations blast these 12 tracks with enough emotion, sincerity and intelligence for the listener to be on board for the entire runtime. Today’s hip-hop culture seems to have largely lost the kind of purpose, inspiration and integrity that Spirit D so effortlessly delivers here.