New Jersey MC, A$AP Mob associate and close collaborator of Da$h, Retch unleashed his latest project, ‘Lean & Neck‘ back in January of last year. I know, its been ‘a while’ since the tape dropped, however, today, I am reviewing the dark, druggy, Trap-inspired and new-sounding Retch that we didn’t hear on his previous releases.
The majority of producers on this tape I hadn’t heard of before until I listened to this tape. Grams Kafka, J Breez and others appear for production credits. All of their individual contributions go a long way for Retch to show off his aggressive, West-Coast flow and patchy and un-easy lyrics. From the title and artwork of the tape, it should be made immediately clear the themes and content that Retch will be rapping about. Although it’s nothing ‘out of the ordinary’ or towards the levels of superior MCs’, Retch still provides vibes over the project for a chill (drugged-up) night, to get turnt up in a club too or just for your own ear-pleasure.
One of the first songs that stood out on the tape was the ridiculously mellow stoner tune, “All Night”. Over minimal bass, trippy drums and West-Coast sounding synths, Retch provides a track bragging about his consumption of a lot of rappers favourite drink…LEAN. Retchs’ voice is also a lot more smooth and not as difficult to understand what he’s saying, which was on an issue on ‘Finesse the World‘.
“Shoout-Outs” produced by J Breez is one of the best tracks on the tape. The edgy instrumental paints a picture of the life Retch had to live before becoming an underdog in the Rap game. His energy on the track and the undoubtedly LiT and hyped chorus of Retch repeating the title of the track is a perfect throwback for the style Retch became popular from, although his lyrics and overall sonic sound on this tape is a great improvement.
Other tracks, spread over the tracklist that also show off Retchs’ ability as a force in the New Jersey Rap scene and community are “Not to Mention”, “Another Seal”, which is one of the craziest Retch tracks ever, “Couple Straps” and a track dedicated to a lot of rappers’ favourite purple drank; LEAN. However, the song that stands out the most amongst the the short listing is the heavy string and heavy hi-hat “Codeine Gangsta Party”. This tracks instrumental, Retchs’ energy, incredibly quick but easy and listenable flow provide the opening soundtrack to anyone’s night.
Although Retch has supplied solo and collaborative projects in the past, this project sounds like a more promising and focused Retch. While I felt bored or un-moved by his work on previous projects, this tape is the sonic sound he was aiming for all that time by the sounds of it.