“THE FUCK STAID LIFE TAPE” is a fire album by Portland rapper and producer, El Noon. It’s a 15 track rush through the creative’s mind, his stories, criticisms, challenges, obsessions and thoughts on the idea of what to do with life, as well as the importance of it. He shows how fucked up the system is, while delivering fiery explosions of lyricism, as well as showing his ability to switch flows quickly and still manage to stay on the beat. First and foremost, an album like this can never be achieved without the necessities that El Noon brings to the table. The technical skill through which he spits oftentimes captivates the listener before they even understands what is actually being said. His arsenal of stop-and-go rhyme are showcased in almost every track. As is his melodic hooks, and effects laden voices, which fill the songs with atmosphere and groove. There are also instances of sing-song rapping and cloud rap productions which enforce the variety on display.
El Noon proves with every change in flow and beat that his delivery and production skills should never be in question. In all, “THE FUCK STAID LIFE TAPE” is a crossbreed of the best parts of both alternative and experimental rap.
Sure to have fans of both the forward thinking hip-hop tandem as well as those just looking for a beat that bump, El Noon brings forth an album that doesn’t disappoint from any aspect and is a must listen to any fan of Hip-Hop. It’s always a treat to see a rapper try something different. That’s what El Noon does throughout his new record.
Unlike many of his fellow rappers and producers, El Noon’s music has a conviction to it. From the moment he jumps out of the blocks with “Roadrunner Intro”, he’s a man on a twisted mission. “2 in the Front” is such a dynamic and welcome change from the rest of pop hip-hop, as it draws some retro vibes to the fore.
“Killer” has an encapsulating, brooding atmosphere supported by a melancholic piano and a low range voice. “IV” hangs onto a mesmerizing bassline, while “Franklins” delivers a dark and eerie beat. As the tracks go by, you realize that musically the album is full of diversity, which is very well written and performed.
Because of the aforementioned elements, the transitions from light to dark and more aggressive musical pieces do not seem too abrupt and sudden. Everything is in its place and everything perfectly complements each other, thanks to both the beats and the rapping.
“Slicky Boy 5000” is just pure raw lyricism, while “Bad” unfolds El Noon’s knack for writing melodic pieces. “The Sissa Slap” brings a sweeter groove and some falsetto croons. “Amoeba” steps up the edginess on an insistent beat and a repeating keyboard motif. I think El Noon’s honesty as an artist is one of the main things which makes this album so appealing.
“Pracktice” is wrapped in a nostalgic and mysterious soundscape, with El Noon delivering his lines in a conversational tone. I believe this song was executed beautifully. “Staid Life” again focuses on El Noon’s dynamic flow and ear warming rhyme scheme. “Off D Roof” is sinister sounding with its thickly layered voices, while “1992 A.D.” bathes itself in a blend of cinematic nuances and R&B tones.
By the time we reach “Made To Love” and “Twin Glock 40s” (feat. Dizzy Mars), it’s clear that this album sees El Noon tackling so much, and it’s the kind of statement-making album that establishes him not just as a fierce emcee, but as an artist and producer, capable of making albums that might get called “classic” someday.