Spencer: “Progress, I Guess – EP” – lyrical jigsaw puzzles!

When you look at the rap landscape, there’s no-one quite like Spencer – from past to present. Whether it’s his beats, his lyrics or even his underwhelming flow, Spencer is a true outlier and it probably make him all the more interesting as he drops his “Progress, I Guess – EP”. He’s a man that revels in contradiction; who defies all traditional hip-hop expectations. Most importantly, he wants to make music that lasts, while audiences nowadays simply want one-and-done hedonistic fueled party anthems. Unafraid to take time off to slow down, sit down and really focus (at least that’s what he sounds like doing his conversational-styled rap), creativity over ambition seems to be his motto.

Of course he also knows that making an impact with his dark and mysterious formula will be tough. Taken out of context, a single line from one of his songs, says it all – about the music business and about the evolution of modern society – “It’s funny, if you’re real then nobody knows you.”

Spencer’s way of mixing the serious with the absurd is lyrically insane; each track is full of cryptic wordplay, as he twists similes and idioms into meanings that will take you days to decipher. It’s as if he is freestyling, starting out with a basic theme, and letting his mind roll with the flow.

Each of the 3 songs on this EP – “Miami Neons”, “Black Dimples” and “Only The Dead” seem to start off in one place while you’ll never be able to guess where they’re going to be ending. These songs are “out there” enough to feel special, to feel exciting but not too alienating.

You’ll have a great urge to shove this EP down the throat of any mainstream rap fan that probably won’t give Spencer the time of day. But you don’t know how, he doesn’t have any catchy songs with anthemic hooks to at least draw them him.  He doesn’t seem to care, quite frankly.

Spencer will hook you stoner friends pretty quickly though. As he’ll have them twisting their lit up minds around his explicit lyrical jigsaw puzzles on “Miami Neons” from dusk until dawn. Or maybe they’ll be captivated by the dark and eerie sermon on “Back Dimples”.

While Spencer’s beats, which are minimal and slightly askew or unorthodox, show off his eclectic taste, glaze over the lyrics and it’s easy to get lost in a vortex of syllables spiraling through the speakers on “Only The Dead”.

The music on “Progress, I Guess – EP” straddles the line between expansive rap classicism and rawboned, avant-garde composition. No other rapper I can think of carries a similar mysterious aura, unpredictable lyricism, and a voice that is as strangely iconic as this dude!


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