Artist: LockOne and Ratchet
Album: The Wisdom Of Insecurities
I’ve been fortunate in my musical exploits to have been able to meet a lot of talented artists. In fact that sometimes has desensitized me to truly impacting music. I’ve gotten spoiled to the point where I expect a certain level of quality from my peers that even excellent albums sound average. Every once in a while though, something comes along that totally surpasses those expectations and really forces me to dig in and listen. ”The Wisdom Of Insecurities” by LockOne and Ratchet is one of those such moments. It was touted by LockOne as “synth-heavy” and it is definitely that but what struck me most about it was the cohesion achieved between producer and rapper. In a time where rappers go shopping for the “hottest” beats and albums sound like mixtapes “The Wisdom Of Insecurities” is a welcome departure. A clear vision and sonic statement persists throughout as LockOne wields his synths like a lead guitar conjuring up post-modern sound-scapes that drive Ratchet’s tourtured bravado all the way from deadpan to dervish and everywhere in between. The strongest element of the album though is the restraint both artists use. An album like this could easily go off the deep end with Ratchet’s vocal dexterity and LockOne’s mastery of the boards, but in the case of “The Wisdom Of Insecurities” both artists reign things in just enough to offer up concise very listenable songs while keeping a biting edge throughout. Highlights include “My Insecurities,” “Desire” and “Fortune Favors The Brave” with “Love Once Lived” serving as a perfect epilogue with the album’s sole guest feature from Poodie The Byz injecting a dose of estrogen into the high octane spectacle and playing the role of the sugar that makes the medicine go down.