Emilio Lopez & RJBeats – Vice City Nights (2012)
Album: Vice City Nights
This review has been in the chamber for a while as Vice City Nights was released just over a month ago. The project is collaborative in nature with Emilio Lopez holding down the duties on the mic while Barcelona based production duo, RJBeats controls the boards. I have really enjoyed hearing the numerous amounts of EPs this year that focus on using one producer with one emcee to give the projects some consistency without getting stale. Vice City Nights follows that template to a tea.
Listenin to B.I. is the first true musical offering of the EP. RJBeats gives you a beat that is best described as being buttery smooth. It has that South Beach feel, where you can glide in your ride and let the music carry you wherever the destination may be. It also has just a touch of soul that enriches the track just that much more. Emilio Lopez is killing time, and hopes time forgives him on the mic. It’s just a very relaxing hip hop cut for the audience to zone out to.
Escuchela is my favorite track among the seven because Emilio Lopez does what he does best in my opinion: He rips bangers. RJBeats laces a hard but very complex production. The banging piano keys, the horns, the hard percussion, and even the woman whispering ‘escuchela’ make this song one not to miss. The concept is that you must listen to the streets but how about you listen to Lopez for a second:
It’s 2012 but I’m hoping that the calendar’s wrong / Cause I ain’t even close to making sure my capital’s long / Reminiscing on long nights, the birds kept me company / 28 by now I should had my own company / But it’s never too late to make it all legitimate / Difference is / n%$@as be rappin’ / And I be living it / Started on this path, rather die than not finish it / I just want to make it while my mother’s here to witness it…
Taste The Dro is a track that feels like it was taken directly out of the 1980s TV show, Miami Vice. The saxophone that hovers on top of the drums really puts the stamp of distinction on this joint. Lopez flavors three different types of verses over this track. He has some introspective words and some narrative material but it all comes through as dope.
Vice City Nights is smooth, slick, and jazzy and puts Emilio Lopez in a new light. It shows his ability to incorporate new elements and vies into his vast expanding repertoire. I think the most pertinent item to take from a release like this is that it transports you to a different time and place which again reflects the power of music when brought to it’s farthest potential. The project is multidimenstional yet easy going, and sure to bring a smile to the face of even the hardest of individuals.