Edgler Vess: “The Hands Resist” – a powerful statement of intent!

Edgler Vess is a Portland based Rap artist, by way of Northern California (Bay Area). Four months removed from his critically acclaimed album, “How to Die in Oregon Vol. 2”, Vess follows up with “The Hands Resist” his most ambitious, album to date. Edgler Vess is putting out some of the dopest, most innovative lyrics and beats today. He’s a poet, musician, showman and his larger than life persona is all over his latest album. His music is fearless and this is the freshest, most unique and rawly talented beast to come out of underground hip hop in decades.

Focusing on his usually solid sound and consistent storytelling, Vess’ lack of fear to experiment with different types of production comes full circle with another brilliant album to add to his catalogue. Edgler Vess paints even more vivid pictures than his previous efforts as he explores his thoughts and personal reflections.

Vess is an obsessively observant creature who has seen some shit – in real life or in his mind’s eye. This may seem obvious, but after decades of rapping hustlers, hustling rappers, and nerds who’ve studied the game without giving us anything to chew on, this crucial alchemy of real life experience and encyclopedia knowledge missed with psychological insight is an evolutionary advantage – one Vess is keenly aware of.

He wraps all of his lyrical skill into some really soulful beats on this album, probably the most emotional soundscapes he has sculpted on ever, to my mind. From the moment the first track, “Soup or Serenade” kicks the set off, this album will blow your mind. In fact from the first few tracks, it’s clear this sounds very different to any of Edgler Vess past releases. In fact, it sounds almost completely different to any hip-hop album I’ve heard in the last couple of years.

Another point of note is that this record is much more focused on the main man, Edgler Vess himself.  The subject matter of the album delves much further into his psyche but in general, this feels much more like a work in which Vess has been able to express his true creative self; make this his album, with him as the centerpiece.

Though more Vess keeps talking about Sam and Simone, the more I seem to get to know Edgler Vess. At least that’s my personal impression. Another curiosity is that all the song titles begin with the letter “S”, besides the two bonus tracks.

On this album Vess seems to have a lot more intention behind his delivery, especially on tracks such as “Simone”, “Sam”, “Seroquel” and “Silly Puddy”, among others. The heavier subject material may play a part here, in having the tracks sound more urgent and dramatic, but Vess seems determined to prove himself and stake his claim as one of today’s top rappers in the game today and probably it’s only psychologically-inclined exponent.

Overall, with this latest release, Edgler Vess seems to have hit a creative peak in producing hip-hop music but also delivered a powerful statement of intent.

This album has gone miles further in developing the kind of sound one could expect from him and goes deeper into the recesses of his mind to deliver a set of twisted anecdotes. This is by far his most powerful but complex release to date.

So it may take a while to fully understand it (I’m still trying to work most of it out), but there is spotless lyricism and solid production, with substantial subject matter fiercely delivered by one of the most creative and imaginative rappers of the moment. I won’t pick out favorite tracks, because they are truly all brilliant, but I can say that I am scared of thinking where Edgler Vess is creatively capable of going to next!


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