RuudAwakening Shines On The Awakening

By Deuce

You can’t say RuudAwakening isn’t on his game. The wordsmith/game spitter cranked out the 10-cut album Catharsis in November—posting it on Bandcamp on the 13th—before coming back with the follow-up, The Awakening, in early December (posted on Bandcamp the 4th, 50 years to the date of the assassination of the Black Panther Party’s Fred Hampton).

Seven songs deep, The Awakening picks up right where Catharsis lets off. On the latter, the emcee paired with a variety of producers including Penacho, Ill Instrumentals, MadReal, Amphouse Productions, and Skurt Nilsen. Significantly, for a rapper coming from that Dirty Dirty (SoFlo’s Broward County, to be specific), a fair amount of the tracks on The Awakening move at the low to mid 90’s tempo—which is almost anomalous in this part of the country.

This fact is exemplified by “Misery+Company”, which is likely as remarkable for its decidedly off pitch keyboard loop as it is its bass line. The latter pounds furiously, imbuing the track with a degree of dangerousness that counterpoints the feel of most of the other cuts. Actuated by a punchy drum pattern, Ruud goes in on his rhymes until the hook when he belts out a melodic cry of “party on the block”. Still, all the singing in the world can’t stop that bass from rumbling again come the next verse, which appears soon enough to prolong the beauty of this hard-hitting affair.

On “Losing It”, Ruud rides an acoustic guitar loop that sounds suspiciously like a sample. This time he’s flowing in at least the mid 90’s BPM to the ever present clanging of the snare. Lyrically he kicks back and recounts, in delicious detail, some of the choicer moments—and more laudable aspects of—a young lady he had the pleasure of spending time with in the verses.

Still, of all the numbers he likely shines the brightest on “The Alarm”, which utilizes a single bar synthesizer loop as the framework for the rapper to put down some much appreciated flows. The swiftness of his delivery matches that of the track itself, proving that rappers in this region can actually hold their own on the microphone. “The Alarm” is a credible conclusion for a nice blend of material that should keep Ruud on the map for at least a couple more months—until the next project drops.   

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