Sadistik • Ultraviolet • Fake Four Inc • US Release Date: July 1, 2014
Too few musicians exemplify a mantra of “dare to be different.” No ‘shade,’ but so much of today’s music seems over-focused on trendiness and conformity, and fueling the next hit album or record. ‘Coming up,’ particularly in hip-hop circles, seems to be a definitive goal, where innovative and ill, intellectual rhymes with legit swagger have taken a backseat. Seattle, Washington alt-rapper Sadistik doesn’t see things that way.
Sadistik slaughters the competition on impressive 2014 album, Ultraviolet, a thrilling, psychological affair . Showing unwillingness for conformity threatening creativity, Sadistik paves his own way with rhymes truly exemplifying going “H.A.M.” Perhaps his eschewal of pettier topics like ‘making it rain’ or ‘suicide doors’ won’t appeal to everyone, but from the jump, Sadistik’s (Cody Foster) talent speak for itself.
“Cult Leader” sets the tone with mysterious production work coupled with angular, twisted lyricism. “Owner of a lonely heart, I’m Minnesota in the coldest part / but this is Washington, the coast of sharks / No this is Waterloo, I’m Bonaparte…” Wise, Sadistik later highlights the title: “So follow me, I’ll be your cult leader / Cody Koresh and the Throat Bleeders.”
If the ambitious opener impressively confounded, “1984” gets everyone on board. Featuring an impressive hook, dark production, and pointed rhymes, “1984” feels complete. “I’ll kill ‘em with the pen / figurative or literal, I’ll stick it in the femoral,” Sadistik spits during the spirited second verse.
“Chemical Burns,” featuring Eyedea and Lotte Kestner, another highlight, is characterized by twistedness. “Veins like a roadmap, black cold grasp on a throat that / won’t hold back old habit, Kodak moments go past,” Sadistik spits. The late Eyedea matches the intensity, delivering agile rhymes himself: “Let’s make this storm feel clean, coward man war machine / sour plans, plots and schemes, rotten fruit, rotten dreams.” Throw in Kestner on the hook, and “Burns” is a gloomy masterpiece.
“In the Night” paces itself, with the majority being instrumental. Once the MC begins to spit, it’s unforgettably executed as always. “Cracked ribs from the hugs you gave me / a sad grin from the love that you’d take / the mask fits so snug and so safely / when I can’t live with the sum of mistakes.”
“Cubic Zirconia” resides among the brightest – quite the ear-catcher. Lyrically, if a couple of other cuts went over one’s head, “Cubic Zirconia” brings it down a notch, mostly because of the jewelry references. Among Sadistik’s most brilliant lyrics comes via “Have no high notes, I lack the octaves / turn laughs to cures those, raps to sonnets / I’m a cubic zirconia, such a cubic zirconia / Now I’m catatonic / I had a varnish but that got tarnished.”
The MC goes “Orange” next, assisted by Child Actor. While “Orange” doesn’t necessarily supersede the work “Cubic Zirconia” did, like everything else, it holds it own. Lyrical references include Kurt Cobain, film Full Metal Jacket, Mello Yello, Greek mythology, and get ready for it – Punxsutawney Phil! On “Nowhere,” rhymes continue to shine: “Someone inject me with the venom from the jaws of iron, God-defyin’ / they said I’m on the cross to die Pontius Pilate…” An equally thoughtful backdrop matches Sadistik’s illustrious skills.
“Witching Hour” definitely devastates the competition. Both Sadistik and guest rapper Nacho Picasso are on autopilot. Sadistik delivers a punch that would knock out the best: “Sadistik motherf*cker, Cody Foster was the pseudonym / I shoot the gifts with these two gold lips, uh / that Midas kiss, f*ck around and get your title stripped.” Nacho gets his own verse, along with splitting hook and an additional verse with Sadistik.
Had Sadistik done nothing beyond “Witching Hour,” he would’ve done enough. Remarkably, the MC keeps the fire burning. On “Still Awake,” he claims to “follow tracks to kill my prey… I do it for the thrill, the chase, I’ll make them feel my blade.” Then on the creepy “Blue Sunshine,” he goes off on the second verse, with lines “Past or present lacks a presence when you just don’t give a, f*ck you…” and “My tongue gon’ spew some blood unto these dumb f*cks who gon’ run amok…”
“Death Warrant,” Sadistik’s collaboration with Sticky Fingaz and Tech N9ne, gives the listener everything and more that one could ask for from a big-time rap collaboration. Sadistik remains a lyrical beast, killing it with lines like “These motherf*ckers run for cover / when I hum a number, something other, muttered thunder, hunger / for the blood of others, hunting, Hunter S. junkie…”
Sticky Fingaz and Tech N9ne are “in it, to win it” as well. Fingaz closes out the second verse strong: “I’m vicious, have you screaming, ‘Abort the mission’/ relentless, I like to see you hurt, that’s Sadistik.” ‘Course, Tech N9ne closes strong too: “You haters don’t ride on my d*ck but yo mama there / she likes to play in my goat she call it Osama hair…” Whoa!
“Gummo,” featuring Yes Alexander does well for itself, while closing cut “The Rabbithole,” featuring Terra Lopez is better, referencing a little bit of everything. A particularly memorable rhyme: “I’ll admit that I am just an artist that a part of this equation, huh? / Nah, I’m part of this aphasia / I f*cked myself, so I’m auto-nymphomania / I gotta make-up words, it’s getting hard to explain it but…”
Ultimately, Ultraviolet is near perfect. Sadistik has crafted one of the years most captivating rap albums, no questions asked. Impressive from top to bottom, this album rocks.
Favorites: “1984,” “Chemical Burns,” “Cubic Zirconia,” “Nowhere,” “Witching Hour,” “Death Warrant,” “The Rabbithole”