Mashbeatz has delivered four joint albums between 2019 and 2023, and the year is just beginning. He has helped to launch the careers of 25K, Tyson Sybatelli and frequent collaborator Thato Saul. Mash also had the whole country jumping on his beat when he made ‘Never Ride’ and its various remixes last year; the first of which brought back former Ambitiouz entertainment rapper and trapster Saudi, to the limelight.
Saudi has ben one of the most elusive SA artists for years since his debut album ‘DRUGS Inc.’ left fans yearning for a sophomore.
Mashbeatz just months after dropping the ‘This Is Religion‘ project serves fans another offering of his eclectic production, and who better than Msotraman to jump on them.
‘Sawfside‘ sees a less melodic and more grimy side of the trapster who gave us ‘Make You Proud’ ‘Dark Dindy‘ and ‘There She Go.’
The instrumentals follow the path of ‘Never Ride,’ psychedelic and strings heavy, mostly violin and cello loops in between 808s.
The EP features six songs and a bonus, with Pretoria rapper 25k being the only feature on the project, and he proves why that is so on his verse on ‘Go Up.’
Saudi proves his prowess on a trap beat with English or Vernacular all through the project, entering with the energetic ‘Hell Of A Night.
‘Toxic’ could easily be jigsawed into a Roddy Rich album and sit pretty. The song is a juxtaposition to ‘Buy The World,’ the former being a ”heartless player’s” trap anthem, while the latter being a love song about buying his love interest the world in a designers’ store.
That’s not the only juxtaposition on the project as Saudi spits ”Imali isn’t everything” on a song titled ‘Buy The World’ but two songs ago he was singing ”Money is my only problem.”
Away from the flexing Saudi returns to familiar places on ‘Sawfside Demon,’ a melodic vernacular hook on a mellow beat, screams 2016. This song will time capsule fans to ‘Make You Proud.’
Live reggae influenced ‘Money,’ is the most renegade track on the project.
Mash’ production definitely stands out and the chemistry between the beats and Saudi’s vocals give a multi-listen worthy effort.
STRONG POINTS: Mash’s use of soulful minimalism and a mix of classical elements sets him apart from other hip hop producers in the continent, Saudi’s melodies and ability to switch flows and cadences and even languages.
WEAK POINTS: Thematic juxtapositions on certain songs
STRONGEST/ WEAKEST SONG: Buy The World /Cross Breed
VERDICT: A worthy welcome for Saudi, builds excitement for later releases, era beginning and not defining.
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Lucas Henshaw is a versatile writer and music blogger who has written countless reviews and blog posts for several big brands. Follow his work @Lucas Henshaw on Facebook, @lucas_9ja on Twitter and @Lucas Henshaw on Linkedin.