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[Album Review] MastodonRare - Apotheosis

Towards the end of his freshman debut, Apotheosis, Glendale rapper MastadonRare, says, “There's no church in these streets.” That may be true, but those same streets inspired a record that can be seen as his rap confessional. The title itself is an homage to another artist, Super Bwe. In one of Bwe’s songs he touches on how making it was inevitable; MastadonRare was coming to that same revelation and decided to pay respects in his own way. The production on the project flows between high strings and bright bells, modern booming low ends with rattling hats, and resonating ambient vibes. The flows range from Curry-like fast paced rhymes to beautiful sing-song.

Music was embedded in MastadonRare. Those around him were in the depths of mid-90s gangsta rap, so it could be said Apotheosis was a long time coming. Beats for several songs were in Mastadon’s arsenal years before the lyrics floated between the snares. MastodonRare utilizes these diverse sets of beats to carry forth the themes his lyrics provide. When rhyming about a distant love interest, the rapper puts forth smooth vocals that haunt the listener with panning and delays on a track like “Hello / Run.” The same sort of feel is on “Say So.. (Leeanne's Song)” as he reminisces about a similar topic. “The Stars” and “The Fall” showcase ambient atmospheres and lyrics that peer into the psyche of the rapper. MastadonRare mixes these flowing songs with teeth knocking rap, most notably accompanied by DZE. MastodonRare and DZE along with featured artists, VisusX and Turo Sivirian make up the group betterEVERYDAY. DZE and Mastadon have a great chemistry when they fire off bars over bumping bass on tracks “The Crucible” (a track MastadonRare champions) and “Face / Off,” one of his “annual stories.” Songs with several features such as “For You” and “Shyne!” are bright songs that lift up heartfelt lines. The Arizona rapper is introspective from the very beginning with “Hcyk.”

Anyone can listen to an album and think they have a pretty good understanding of the artist and have their own take on what is being said. However no one but the artist can really say what was going on inside their head while the lyrics were being spit, or the events that led up to those lyrics being cultivated. Writing about living in his car or about VisusX’s and his brother who died six days after MastadonRare’s birthday in 2014, the life experiences bleed through the lyrics. Although, being inside the head of the emcee isn't necessary to enjoy their art. Hearing a slice of MastadonRare's life outside of the confessional box is satisfying enough. MastadonRare introduces Apotheosis with his revenant introduction to the world; coming back from the dead behind the clicks of gun shots. He contrasts his return from the ashes at the start of his album and ends it with an ending note of triumph and a hopeful prospect into future.

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