Locksmith – Labyrinth (2012)
1. Life Is Beautiful
2. Outta Reach (ft. Ceek)
3. My Character (ft. GLC)
5. On My Own (ft. Allen Ritter)
6. The Pit
8. I Hate Rabbits
9. Little Bunny Rabbit
10. Gone Tomorrow (ft. Fallon)
11. Take Me Away (ft. Fallon)
13. Slight Disgust
There are a lot of artists scratching and clawing for recognition. Many of these artists are gifted. Many artists we cover on HHD possess some of the qualities that are important to being a great emcee. Locksmith, however, has all of those qualities. He is the consummate lyricist. He has total control of his delivery. He can give it to you uptempo or down. He can flip this or that beat. It doesn’t matter. He is intelligent. As an emcee, there is not a chink in the armor. But that alone does not make a great album. We’ve all seen lyricists come and go and never really reach their musical potential.
What really sets Locksmith, (and Labyrinth for that matter) apart is his passion. You can feel the anger, anguish, and venom in each and every bar. He rhymes like he’s not going to see tomorrow. He has been second guessed and discounted at various junctures in his life. Labyrinth gives you a vivid snapshot of where this artist has been and where his now. He has gone from insecure and disregarded to confident and formidable.
For instance on, Outta Reach, Locksmith discusses his upbringing in a biracial home. You can hear the apprehension he had as a child in every bar until you too start to feel that same anxiety. He talks about how he didn’t even want to go to school at one point to avoid the ridicule of being called such things as “light bright, half breed, white boy, oreo“. It’s a song about finding one’s identity and enduring the cruelty while doing so. It’s an extremely deep and socially relevant track.
On My Own strikes a similar tone and nerve as the aforementioned, Outta Reach. It again delves into the issue of racial identity but also other tribulations that Locksmith has endured or witnessed. The music itself draws the listener in. Allen Ritter’s vocals lend the song depth and harmony in between Locksmith’s observations and acknowledgements. It’s yet another powerful moment presented by Labyrinth.
Little Bunny Rabbit is a point in the album where a sharp detour is taken in Locksmith’s mind. It’s a much more ominous turn from the preceding tracks. Locksmith has evil intentions . The way the female whispers “little bunny rabbit” even sounds maniacal. The keys bang and the drums hit just before Locksmith unleashes a salvo of angst in the form of exceptional lyricism.
I ain’t got to yell, I ain’t got to shout / I ain’t got a deal. I’m without a doubt / The realest n@*ga from this desolate region / Without a beacon / While they’re sleeping / On <The Little Bunny Rabbit>
N&*gas jumping ship to get a slip between a set of doors / Sacrifice my life for it, how you trying to leverage yours? / Trade lyrics for gimmicks to feed a money habit / Now you wish you woulda listened to <This Little Bunny Rabbit>
Illuminati is a track that is not meant for the simpletons. If you can comprehend a little higher knowledge and perspective, I am sure you will feel Locksmith’s ode to the men who run the country from the shadows. He alludes to a lot of the symbolism found in the United States including the Eagle’s claw and the Bilderberg group. He also incorporates things such as Egyptian mythology. I relate this track to when Ras Kass dropped, Nature Of The Threat. The lyrics and message are deep and you have to listen carefully to each and every word so you don’t miss a thing.
In closing, Labyrinth may be the most personal album that I have ever reviewed. Locksmith is up front and candid with every aspect of his album. He spits his lyrics with a incomparable ferocity. He isn’t looking for compliments, handouts, or small tokens of appreciation. The man is set on carving out space for his career and endeavors as an artist. He will not be content being just recognized a dope artist from The Bay. In his own words: “Fuck the bay! I’m trying to take over the continent” . Labyrinth is a display of talent and tenacity that shows Locksmith to be capable of just that.