The “Now Or Never Mixtape” album produced by Strongarm Records, delivers Chicago rapper Slaw Raw’s most dynamic and exhilarating performances to date, as he marries rock aggression with soulful swagger and pop energy, within his own realities. Over the course of the nine-track album, Slaw Raw’s appreciation for the genre comes across as genuine. He retrofits his unusual rapping style into cadences that somehow remind us of series of uncanny left-field hip-hop personalities. In his diverseness, he carries the charisma and skill necessary to leave a lasting impact.
Like a well-crafted action movie, the record hardly takes a breath. The blasting bass lines and crisp trap hi-hats will keep the windows rattling from the opening track “Strong-Arm Records” to the hardcore explosion of closer “I Am Who I Am”.
The boastful and blunt nature of audacious rap can be seen in Slaw Raw’s whole delivery across this album. He manipulates his voice in fascinating and inventive ways. On “Metal Aco” he lays down a series of melodic sing-song verses, while on “Rock and Roller” his delivery is more incessant and darker.
“Magnitude” forges a dance-floor styled electronic beat as Slaw Raw as Slaw Raw records with the energy of a live performance; this is the energy and groove of a man on stage. A cinematic build up sets a nice scene for “La Lo Cheesia” to kick in.
Again, Slaw Raw is in a zone. Every bar is focused and energized. Well-constructed this is a good song, with more enjoyable keys. “Everywhere I Go” is a trunk-rattling dinosaur, from when the marching beat comes bursting through the speakers. Even the flow Slaw Raw is using, couldn’t be better.
There isn’t a single moment on “Now Or Never Mixtape” where the energy simmers down—this is an album that refuses to stop moving. Slaw Raw has clearly also mastered the art of arresting the listener. The energy he brings on “Abandon My Empire” is naturally infectious, and further benefits when paired with scorching production.
The head-nodding “Call to Action” is proof that Slaw Raw has plenty more up his sleeve. No burnout in sight. “I Am Who I Am” is a banging ride and it’s begging to be played through loud speakers on a sweltering summer’s day.
Production-wise, the “Now Or Never Mixtape” album has a well-realized and fresh blend of hip-hop, trap and elements of alternative electronic sounds interchanging components throughout. Track by track, Slaw Raw doesn’t run out of ideas and they’re played in a relentlessly engaging fashion.
Make no mistake, there’s a lot of varied music on this recording. There’s everything from darkly intricate beats, ominous and cosmic elements, as well as nods to electronic and psychedelic rock.
The “Now Or Never Mixtape” album sets Slaw Raw status in stone as a creative artist as he further showcases his versatility and solidifies his position in the underground independent game. Slaw Raw has shown he can adapt and take on any style; all while keeping his distinct, personal flavor.