“Gunfight” sees Vice Vincent and Karos fire off rounds in a world without consequences.
“Anytime I link with Karos n—– know we finna rock” raps Houston artist Vice Vincent at the midpoint of “Pavement”. There’s a growl in his voice, but you can almost hear a smile breaking out as the wildness of his bars catches up to him. It’s hard to take anything on “Gunfight” too literally. Vincent and Karos rap about “kicking doors” with aggression and punch, but the set dressing of this three track project – from the cartoonish cover art to the pulsing synth melodies – creates a world where no rules apply. It’s in this anarchic space that the pair find creative ways to match each other’s energy.
Third track “StripsStrips” is fittingly the peak of the artists’ fusion. The track opens in a thick digital mist, with pads and leads overlapping to an intoxicating effect in the background. The two rappers ad-lib and yell over one another, adding to the furore. Bass drums slam like falling debris, blasting through the mix. Both lyricists employ a modified triplet flow, heavy in stoppages and improvisations. The end result is artificially delayed, trippy, almost hallucinogenic. Real contrast comes from the continued topics of “keeping my glick on my hip” (Karos) and “stupid” amounts of cash spilling out of pockets (Vincent). The disconnect is jarring but given time adds to the crazy world “Gunfight” portrays.
Opener “Chinatown” is more subdued. Karos grates against the microphone, his voice a foreign resonance. Shimmery percussion carries the beat forward into Vincent’s verse, which feels more of this realm. The duo don’t so much impress as they do assimilate, finding a place amongst the slowly drifting instrumentation. The listener’s rewards come from engaging with this process. Allowing the illusion to take over yields a very immersive experience.
Ultimately “Gunfight”, at only five minutes and change, doesn’t leave too much of an impact. Vice Vincent and Karos let off burst-like verses, taking mere seconds to reload, mostly without aiming at anything in particular. Take the time to stand in the firing line, though, and a mirage of burning sounds awaits.
Listen to “Gunfight” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)