Rick Whispers - Awed by the Backdrop

[Pitch Control Music]

For those not from the Albany area, Rick Whispers is a local hip-hop artist who’s also been kicking around the local hardcore scene for a while. Awed By The Backdrop is his second full length release.

The record starts up with a nice cut and paste intro by Money Mike, which is the only track out of 17 that isn’t an official song. Rick raps with sort of high pitched whine, kind of like a white Mr. Funke from Lords of The Underground. How’s that for a left field comparison? Rick’s lyrics are filled with a lot of poetic and abstract metaphors. He doesn’t dip too far into the braggadocio/chip on my shoulder rhymes that most underground rappers are into these days. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; moreso a personal preference.

A good amount of songs deal with ladies and lady problems, which is something most of us can relate to. The lead off single “Humming in the Sun” is a good summer jam type song thanks to a funky beat provided by Mashie.

Truthfully, all the beats are pretty on point. I was actually surprised since there’s 8 producers credited on this, and usually the more producers means the more chances of some of the beats being something you’re not into or something that’s plain shitty. Khil’s heavy ‘Top Billin’-esque drums under melodic strings definitely kills
it (sorry, pun not intended. I fucking hate puns). Unfortunately, that’s Khil’s only beat on here, but I’d definitely like to hear more. Atypical’s work on “Shades” and “Umbrellas” (From the standpoint of an
onlooker, part’s 1 & 2) is definitely the standout for me. He flips a reeeeeeaallly familiar keyboard sample on both tracks. It’s actually pissing me off that I can’t figure out what the god damn fucking keyboard is from. Anyway, that’s my own problem.

Speaking of “Shades” and “Umbrellas”, these are definitely Rick’s standout tracks, lyrics and contents wise. He really shines and shows he can get serious without rapping about girls. I think most people will gravitate towards the aforementioned “Humming in the Sun” and “Oceans of Ivory” and it’s remix, but “Shades” and “Umbrellas” shouldn’t be slept on.

If you are a fan of Rhymesayers type stuff, you should check Rick out. Mac Lethal even makes an appearance on here on the track “Bottles”. Overall, Awed by the Backdrop shows that Rick is pretty comfortable with this rap shit and can only go up from here. I feel I need to give some constructive criticism since this review has been mostly objective, which totally isn’t my style. If anything, I’d say outside of getting Khil to do more shit on his next record, it wouldn’t hurt Rick if he switched his flow up here and there a little. With that
being said, this is still a completely solid record that you should check out. Especially if you’re in the Albany area since Rick is a workhouse that plays the shit out of shows all the time.

Rick Whispers on Myspace