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2017 Music Nova Scotia Awards: Quake wins SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award

2017 Music Nova Scotia Awards: Quake wins SOCAN Songwriter of the Year Award

Merkules – Scars [Review]

Vancouver, BCMerkules is back with another full length studio album. Scars is the latest release and it feature some inventive rhymes, great tasting beats and an all-star cast of guests. The 14-track project offers an intimate glimpse into the struggles of an artists with real life experiences that many will be able to relate to. All delivered with refined lyricism and a voice thicker than poutine in December.

Merkules - Scars [Review] -

I rap for therapy and I rap for meals / Your track’s embarrassing cause you rap for deals” – there you go. The whole album wrapped up into one line. Thanks for reading.

Honestly though, this line is brilliant and really does encapsulate the feeling of the album. Why not print it on some T’s, Merk?

But wait, there’s more.

If we really break it down, Scars is honest. It’s lyrically vivid without being too detailed. The album could have been called Merkules presents: My Audio Documentary Vol. 1. The album opens up with the track “Save Us”. A damn banger that finds Merk and Snak The Ripper spitting as if their first born child’s life depended on it. There are so many quotable lines here they could fill this whole review.

My arrogance is apparent, parents don’t like Merk, they know that if their daughter hears him they scared that she might twerk / My shit’s so fuckin’ cold that I’m carrying ice bergs, and you fairies is light work so just spare me the nice words.

Pretty sure no man his been called a fairy since Sam Losco told Lahey and Randy to fuck off. Nice work, Merk. That last line is from the track “That Dude”. A sinister organ line carries the beat while Merkules spits some sick battle type lines and the whole thing is sub zero cold.

The title track “Scars” is the story of a cherished memory that turns sour. A successful studio sessions ends with drunken punches thrown and weapons being pulled. Merkules is like Spielberg on the mic. His train of though never misses a beat. The listener is guided through the chain of events seamlessly with no questions or doubts about the plot.

Got knocked out with a bat, they were taking me out then I remember buddy put a switch blade in my mouth/ We were only a kilometre away from my house, I’m thinking I’m about to die, I was facing a doubt.

Merkules showcases a different yet equally impressive set of skills on the track “Close My Eyes” which reveals a more down to earth emcee in touch with his feelings and thoughts on relationships.

I know this girl and she’s got a story to tell, twenty two and she’s the reason the planets orbit so well / She’s the type of girl to make you smile no matter what the cause, and anytime that you’re not with her you’ll start havin’ these withdrawals.

Production wise there is a ton of diversity on Scars. Everything from 90s style bass lines to current trap sounds with rolled hi-hats. Special mentions to “The Deep End”, “Dispatch” and “Save Us” for being especially memorable. Vokab, C-Lance, Bo Beats and Stuey Kubrick handle the majority of the beats with finesse.

On one occasion, Merkules recounts having nothing but a backpack full of raps written on scraps of papers and the highlight of his day being the feeling you get when work is almost over and you know you’re getting drunk that night. Fellow alcoholics can relate to the honesty and vividness of lines like that. You can just feel that lyrics like these are not thought up – they are from experience.

Merkules comes across as a very strong leader for the lower middle class. Being the disobedient young child who wouldn’t listen to his mother and just wanted to get drunk, pass out and wake up naked with a bottle of rum. There’s a feral side to his writing, yet he also manages to play the philosopher and offer mature insight into his past. Scars is about the journey. Not just the physical pains but the emotional ones that we carry through life as well. You can imagine Merk on the 30th floor penthouse balcony with a 40oz in hand, overlooking the harbour while he reminisces on his savage past.

I get that feeling in my stomach when the rent is due, because there’s nothing left to do I’m trying to chase this revenue / It’s in my blood I’m like the boss of a business but I don’t got all the riches I gotta walk out and get it.

An A-list of guest appearances add the vodka soaked olive to the Martini that is Scars. Although if Scars were a drink it would probably taste more like Faxe Strong with a tequila shot poured on top. Both Onyx members as well as Caspian and Snak The Ripper rap like this was their own album. There are no wasted bars here. You can cop Scars right now on iTunes. Check it out.

Written by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada

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