Madchild’s latest entry into the rap world is Silver Tongue Devil, an album about sobering up and focusing on his craft, which has apparently worked considering this album combines quality verses, meaningful content and exciting beats for a pretty solid record.
Madchild has been in the underground rap scene for some time now, his first release being The Mad Child EP in 2009. Madchild hails from Vancouver, Canada, but now lives in Los Angeles to “push himself” according to the 15th track on STD, “Zero”.
This is Madchild’s third studio album, the previous being Dope Sick in 2012 and Lawn Mower Man in 2013. Both albums were successful in Canada, but with his latest release, it’s apparent that Madchild is looking for more recognition.
On the album, Madchild’s primary focus is his abuse of drugs through his life and who he is now that he’s gotten past said abuse. He’s claiming to be sober, which may be the reason why this album seems a cut above from his previous work.
Before focusing on the content, it’s important to respect Madchild’s ability to turn a verse and write clever and meaningful lines. It’s not simple by any means, and its complexity may be a sign of his development as a rapper.
I attribute the style of his rapping to fellow white rapper Eminem, but primarily Eminem’s early days. His voice reminds me of Schoolboy Q’s at times, which makes for an interesting combo in his delivery.
Throughout STD, the Vancouver-based rapper does his best to show his flow as well as his ability to spit verses quickly and coherently, which are two characteristics that seem to be mutually exclusive for most rappers.
The content of his verses focus on his sobriety and struggle to reach it, as well as the “crazy” aspect of himself. Madchild brings up the voices in his head as well as other seemingly insane moments and issues.
It’s here that we see that Madchild isn’t completely devoid from his roots, although that’s not necessarily a compliment. An insane persona is all fine and good, but it’s not necessarily an untapped idea in rap.
Names like Eminem, Hopsin and Tyler, The Creator all come to mind, and while Madchild doesn’t sound like them, some of his content is similar to what you might find in an Ill Mind of Hopsin record.
However, when Madchild hones in on his struggle with hard drugs and his journey to get sober, his music elevates to a higher level. The beats and clever, appealing verses, meet with something substantial for music that is enjoyable to listen to, but also provokes thought and appreciation for his journey.
Speaking of beats, STD has some fantastic ones. Throughout the album, various producers, most notably and frequently C-Lance, lay down great tracks for Madchild to rap on.
The beats and his style give off an early-2000s vibe, which is something you don’t get from a lot of rap albums anymore. It may not be an original sound, but it’s an under appreciated one that doesn’t get used a lot.
The only other aspect of the album that could be considered mediocre or disappointing would be his choruses. He raps the majority of them himself, but they are relatively basic and don’t hit nearly as hard as his verses.
I appreciate the effort, and it’s not like they break the album, but more often than not, I found myself waiting for the verses, which were the apex of Madchild’s work on this album.
Overall, this album was surprisingly polished and enjoyable. It’s apparent that Madchild’s sobriety is helping his craft in more ways than one.
This is a comeback of sorts, but it’s also a statement for Madchild. This is some of his strongest work, and with sobriety being a focal point, he’s actually rapping about something substantial.
This album could get buried beneath a plethora of major artists’ releases, but Madchild put out a solid album here and deserves due credit.