I could write articles upon articles on the amount of talent I’ve encountered out of Indianapolis, particularly in the realm of hip-hop, and in some ways I have. I mean, just look at my monthly Hoosier Highlights series, for instance. It makes Indy feel less like a scene and more like a movement. Every movement needs a frontrunner though, and that frontrunner for the Circle City is Sirius Blvck, with his latest full-length, major threat., is proving why this is the case.
Right away Blvck sets the tone for major threat. on the melodic lead single and album opener “New Jacks,” enhanced with singing in both the foreground and background. This sense of melody is something that I would argue isn’t all that touched in hip-hop (and when it is touched, it’s often not executed well), yet it’s a theme that keeps coming back up throughout much of the record, from the feel-good bounciness of “Hard2find” or “Departure,” to the complementary melodies of the trappier tunes like “Loading….”
There’s also a strong feeling of continuity on major threat. thanks to the stellar production throughout. With crunchy beats that hold their own among even the biggest names in trap music (see bangers like “Vonnegut” and “Mantra”), it’s no surprise that the entire production is helmed by just a handful of individuals. At points Blvck’s beats even parlay into territory foreign to much of hip-hop, like bluesy rock on the guitar-driven “Greed” or the indie tone of “Shogun,” while still making perfect sense sonically in the context of the record. Even the roaring guitars of the instrumental “Outro,” however drastic, fit the overall flow of major threat., and that is a feat that shouldn’t be taken for granted.
As if all of that isn’t already enough, Blvck brings some incredibly impressive flow and wordplay to the table, really shining through on tracks like the rocking “Greed” and the brief “Vonnegut.” Speaking of brief, I feel compelled to air my grievances just a little bit, because as much as I’ve been steadily enjoying major threat., it kind of irked me when I first heard it and realized how short it is. With 9 tracks clocking in at a total of just 24 minutes, it leaves the listener longing to hear more not long after it begins. In today’s society and how short everyone’s attention seems to be, especially with regards to music, I totally see (and understand) the need to create projects to fit this norm, which is partly why the length has begun to bug me less and less with each successive spin. It’s either that, or major threat. is such a fantastic effort that its length just doesn’t matter to me anymore.