Mixtape review: Razor – Progression
27 Oct 2012
Titled Progression, Razor’s newest mixtape is an ode to evolvement, development and growth, both in his person and as an artist. I can’t help but automatically start comparing the latest instalment from Razor, aka Todd Allison, to his last release Reinventing, but this is positive, as there’s nothing but improvement, and indeed progression.
Listeners are offered intimate glances into Razor’s personal life, including an emotional account of a pregnancy scare in Free Soul(which features rapper Big Cakes and the beautiful jazz-soul voice of singer Saffire D’Soul). Into The Light, featuring Foz Tee, is an explicitly honest (and very touching) account of the loss of his unborn child, concluding that he wants to ‘live [his] life right’. The tragic loss of this unborn baby clearly influenced so much of this mixtape and deeply insightful Look What You Done is an emotional venting session which is executed beautifully.
Razor’s insights into the music industry is the skeleton behind Losing My Balance, and the minimal beat is all the track requires for the lyrics to hit home – and they do, as many truths are told. Quite rightly, Todd explains that he will not dumb down his lyrics or concepts and I’m happy to hear it.
One of the more unique aspects of Razor’s performance is his consistent ability to make light of some severely dark situations. His smart one-liners and clever punchilines are not the only evidence of this capacity to do this, but his beat selection adds to the almost weird (in a good way!) mind that this guy seems to possess. Take Guidance, a track about bringing up another man’s child: Razor picked a remixed version of Lil Wayne’s Wetter, where the chorus features a ‘chipmunked’ version of the lyrics “I need a daddy, will you be my daddy” etc. Everyone knows the track, but never has it been used for such a serious, controversial topic.
Todd’s recent life experiences, many negative, have clearly influenced and inspired Progression, as we’re presented with track after track of venting, emotional declarations and sporadic ejaculations of passion and anger. I’ve been appalled at the lack of intelligence and the seeming naivety of many UK rappers lately, but Razor is bringing some much-needed consciousness to the scene.
Read our interview with Razor here.
Follow Razor on Twitter: @RazorArtist