Seattle rapper RickyLaGoon is a veteran of the true sound of the underground: sinister, gruff-voiced coated in a layer of grime and filth. His latest offering, titled Scripted Opus, $ounds Of Suffering, compiles some previously released material alongside new material to make for a satisfying collection of the rapper’s music. As the name implies, this ten track tape features some of the greatest sounds that LaGoon has ever recorded and released, the self-produced ‘Anonymous Lick’ is the first sign of this success story. Despite the floaty, fairly lightweight beat, this song is a serious heavy-hitter. The rapper’s chosen delivery throughout this project is clearly inspired by other underground greats, but the malevolent, semi-whispered vocals do nothing but solidify LaGoon’s presence as an underground titan.

When the songs feature guests, the songwriting often shifts sensibly to accommodate them. This is found most prominently on ‘I Don’t Like Pain’, where Worm’s appearance acts as a demented counter to the quiet, barely withheld menace expelled by LaGoon. In between their flows, a chopped hook reverberates across the soundscape, a lonely, desperate voice trapped in a nightmarish vortex. ‘Demon’ is more of a traditional banger, starring two brick-hard guest verses and an earworm hook, while ‘Goop’ explores less bassy, more subdued productions and mini rap duets in the verses.

Calling the project ‘Scripted Opus’ was bold as LaGoon has dropped many quality projects in the past, but the way that this one is sequenced makes it easy to understand why this decision was made. The singles (‘Run It Back’, ‘Cracked’) presented an earth-shattering base for the sound to be built on, and the sharpened vocal techniques, numerous guest appearances and tastefully chosen, flawlessly incorporated samples were just the icing on the cake. All of the rapper’s EP’s and singles are worth checking out, but this newest offering brings his sound together in such a wonderful way that it truly does feel like the apex of his career so far.

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