BanditSkully has been staying in touch with me for a while, keeping me updated on the music that he’s been making. This cycle of creation has culminated in the EP Bad Luck, which proves above all that Skully is an immensely capable rapper who can tackle various beat styles with ease. ‘No Features’ transforms an indistinct trap beat into a huge banger, the rapper spitting flames: ‘stick sounding like a magician n***** thought I was a sorcerer’, ‘it’s attached to the rifle, I see through the lens while you n***** equipped with a horoscope’. It’s brutish, no-holds-barred opener to the EP, reflecting the tagline posted underneath: ‘THIS TAPE WAS CREATED IN HELL’.
‘Spirit’ channels more specific trap titans in style, but Skully’s snarl makes the style his own. He seems to enjoy tackling the most minimal of beats that he can find, reveling in the increased focus on his blunt, snarled vocals. ‘Newsflash’ churns out bars so breathlessly fast that every single line feels like a part of one of huge, savage mega-hook. It is definitely worth noting that the one-dimensional lyrical approach actually works massively in Skully’s favour; the appeal of his style grows as his raps become more and more extravagant over increasingly simple trap instrumentals.
‘Raven’ is where the rapper peaks. This is by far the most ominous-sounding track on the EP, essentially acting as the sound of the rapper fighting tooth and claw to escape his hellish environment. At one point, he hollers: ‘Candlejack, Candlejack, bet you can’t get your bands back’, this supernatural allusion reflecting the terror of being at Skully’s mercy. Without a doubt, this is one of the most effectively brutish trap EP’s of the year, a real delight for anyone seeking angry, balls-to-the-wall hip-hop that does its best to replicate the fear of being swallowed by an unstoppable darkness.
Listen to the EP in full here.