Bar Exam: Vicious Vic – Young But Mighty (EP)
A One Listen Review
“Vicious Vic” just released his new EP “Young But Mighty.” According to Google, vicious means “cruel, violent and immoral.” Vic may have some ‘splainin to do… but in the meantime I’m definitely intrigued. I have had no prior experience listening to this artist, but despite this really intense name at first blush his art seems really clean and everything looks well done and put together. Let’s sit down for another bar exam.
The first track “Set it off” fades in. He begins with a simple flow “I gotta do what I gotta do/smashin ever do/now I’m coming thru” While these rhymes are predictable, immediately I’m feeling the swagger he brings. Vic is extremely confident in his performance. He’s all over the map, (in a good way) he includes some melodies and picks up some momentum that propels into a bigger beat that elevates the track. Man, Vic’s got a couple different levels to what he can do and he shows it off all right here at the beginning. “Got a lot on my mind/gotta stay on the grind/many souls on the line/I ain’t wasting no more time” This is a terrific opening track that raises expectation and sets the tone for what could be. Sonically there’s a lot going on here, but I don’t feel overwhelmed. It seems like he’s skimming off the top of his bag of tricks. So far it’s a lot of good vibes and melodies. We’re starting this one off above the bar.
Track two is entitled M.O.M., and it begins with what I first thought was a hook but is just a really catchy flow. He’s great with the vocal inflections and once again this is a solid performance. “You ain’t playin with us you ain’t never read the book/it’s a cold summer but the boy never shook” I love the unpredictable construction of this track. He flows for like two minutes and then brings in the hook at the end. MOM stands for “man on a mission” and I am totally completely bought into the mission he’s bringing.
In the next song “Strong,” Vic continues to show his versatility. It’s all melodies here, proving he doesn’t have a cookie-cutter formula for us on this project. “Strong” is actually a pretty worshipful track. The chorus is so catchy I can imagine a bunch of people joining in and singing on this. The beats so far are really tight, it’s all sounding clean and the music is able to add a lot to what Vic is bringing on the mic. He adds a lot of momentum to the end of this track by pairing the melody vocals with some intensity. It’s a momentous performance to close it out.
“Grace” has a trap vibe to it. God’s never given up on Vic through it all, and that’s what he’s highlighting on this track. The music bed is nothing too incredible but this provides an even keel chilled out moment in the project. Vic definitely has that modern hip-hop vibe that you would hear from Migos or Post Malone, but don’t worry he still packs in some bars.
“T.M.W.” is a fast paced and upbeat tune. The acronym stands for “Trust My Will” and begins with another catchy hook. This beat is extremely dope, switching up a few times and Vic busts a complex flow over it. Might be the best track on the project so far, and definitely gonna be repeated quite a few times.
“Boy I’m young and I’m restless/God in control why the heck am I stressin/He gon’ do it if he wanna do it that’s a fact/You ain’t never stopping anything God’s planned/If I had a dollar every time that I was reckless/I be probably building every homeless man a mansion/I be rocking Gucci logo on my sandals/Chillin on a island with a woman and a banjo/I would probably never ever wanna hear the gospel/All the money in the world but still a poor soul”
Secret Weapon is next. There’s a tight piano sample tucked in behind a melodious Chorus at the top. There’s some ominous sounds here creating some tension in my gut. It’s all done so well I can’t really complain it’s only two and a half minutes long.
Moving along, “Waiting For” starts out with more of a beach party vibe. It’s easy listening, and peels back for the verse. I’m not sure I’m digging the production here but once again it’s a solid performance. Topically he’s challenging people to be the change that they want to see in the world. He even points to different people in the Bible and asks the question “what if they were timid” or “what if they were waiting for someone else to do the job?”
“When nobody makes a difference everything gon’ stay the same.”
Closing out this EP, “My Prayer” is a spoken word poem. The mix sounds (intentionally) as if he’s speaking into a cassette recorder. This poem adds some depth to what was already here. Vic isn’t playing around, and wants his heart for the gospel to be heard.
“Young But Mighty” was an absolute treat to listen to. There was a lot of momentum and terrific pacing from track to track. It all flowed well together and with the exception of “Waiting For” felt like it all belonged on this project. Vic’s lyrical chops are on point, and his performances are as strong as anyone’s. The music was tight and clean, and overall it’s well rounded and tough to do much better. Oh and that “vicious” moniker? It’s undoubtedly there to describe his behavior on the mic. The proof is in the music.