"Gasface" is the Mellow Music Group debut album from North Carolina emcee/producer Castle. The album is produced entirely by Castle himself and was released on July 23, 2013.
1) Fool's Errand - The first track on the album features a chopped up string sample with some hard boom-bap drums. The beat is similar in vein to an Apollo Brown instrumental, which is a good thing because Apollo is a beast. This is my first time hearing Castle rhyme and both his voice and flow are dope. Lyrically he comes correct and spits about how his chances of making it big in the rap industry are low, but he is going to keep rapping anyways. Very nice.
2) No Prep Time - Castle rips a head-nodding instrumental with some dusty drums and an old-school feeling sample. In line with the previous track, Castle spits about the rap industry and the bullshit that comes along with being an artist.
"So I stopped tellin' squares I make musicThis is really dope. Too bad its so short.
First thing they do is look at you like you stupid
'Everybody raps and everybody makes beats!'
Yeah that's cool dude, but everybody ain't me"
3) Cruising on Fumes - The instrumental on this track has a care-free vibe to it while still maintaining a throwback feel. Castle raps about having no money and driving around in a car that's on E while still trying to look fly, something that I think most people can definitely relate to. Great song. So far this album is really good.
4) Shame On Me - This track has another laid back instrumental, this time with a muffled backing sample and some subtle drums. Castle gets his storytelling on and spits a story about a chick who is cheating on her man with him. Nice track.
5) Krillz - This was the first single released from the album and its pretty ill. The beat has a somber feeling to it which matches the subject matter of the song. Castle raps some street stories about people chasing money by selling drugs and its effect on those around them. Dope shit.
6) Time Folder - This song has a crazy instrumental with some layered samples and booming bass that give it a sort of comical feel. Castle rhymes about how his rap style is somewhat inaccessible to radio and mainstream, but that someone out there will be feelin him. The song is really short though, clocking in at just under a minute and a half. Still, its pretty good. Not the best on here, but it's not bad.
7) Orientation - This track starts off with a hilarious short "commercial" from Veridian Dynamics before the actual song begins. The beat is a chopped up sample that sounds a bit off-kilter, but its pretty ill. Castle comes with a humorous take on the job market and the attitude corporations have towards their employees.
"Are there any questions?The lyrics are clever and the beat is dope. Nice.
Uh, yeah, will you guys screw me on availability?
I have class in the evening and I like to have the energy
To stay awake in class and even have time to study
But it's fine either way cuz I desperately need the money.
Good question. Our policy is 'Fuck You In The Mouth'
But if you need to change your schedule just give your boss a shout
He'll blindly dismiss it
Show his ass for you to kiss it
And say 'Fuck you and your class' and hope to God you miss it"
8) Soulfire - The instrumental on this track has a crazy chopped up soul sample with some violins and vocal samples. Castle spits some whimsical braggadocio rhymes in his unique multi-syllabic rhyme patterns and irregular flow. He has been reminding me of another emcee vocally and flow-wise for the past few tracks and I finally figured out who - Deacon the Villain from CunninLynguists circa the "Will Rap For Food" era. Deacon was more on the humor tip back when that album dropped than he has been recently. Anyways, this track is good, but not the best on here.
9) Opium - The beat on this track is real smooth with some soft pianos, synths and subtle drums. The song has a more serious feel to it than the previous few as Castle spits a story about his ex who calls him up, sleeps with him, then leaves and goes back to her old man while he is left behind with a broken heart. I really like this song. The beat and rhymes are very good. Dope track.
10) One Time - The song has a real laid back instrumental that has a nice layered guitar sample with no real drums. Despite the lack of drums to keep the beat moving, the instrumental is very atmospheric and Castle rips it. This shit is really nice. Another very dope track.
11) The Punisher Kills Hip Hop - The beat on this track is banging and features a darker guitar loop and some boom-bap drums. The beats got my head nodding and Castle absolutely bodies it, spitting a comic book inspired story about murdering wack emcees. The lyrics are very descriptive and you can visualize everything he is saying on here. Great way to close out the album.
I'm going to rate the album a strong
3.75 / 5
because its very good, but there are a few tracks I'm not really feelin as much as the others. The songs are not bad by any means, they just weren't as good as some of the others in my opinion. Still, the album is a very impressive debut, especially considering Castle holds down all of the verses and production duties throughout the entire LP by himself. I'll definitely be checking for more releases from him in the future.