Key Tracks: “What the Fuck” “Too Ill For the Law”
Is “3 Seashells” a mixtape, or a debut album? It’s been billed as both. It’s the first full-length work dropped by Lakutis, and it has the cohesiveness of an album. But it has two >15 second skits, the longest track is only 3:06, and it was dropped on a Thursday mid-afternoon. So it’s both, or it’s neither, or it’s whatever it is. And that’s exactly what it should be.
This album/mixtape is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Lakutis. It’s short; not a single song overstays it’s welcome. And it’s diverse. Lakutis is known for being involved in Brooklyn’s Greedhead Records (started by Heems – Lakutis is on the Das Racist track “Booty in the Air”), but he’s in the hardcore scene too, and it comes through in the most subtle ways. Each song seems to have a rapidity to get to the end, like hardcore groups. And there’s a certain dark tone running throughout the album, especially towards the album’s second half.
This album’s (arguable) best song, “Too Ill For the Law,” was actually #6 on my subjective list of the best songs of 2013, one of the only four hip-hop songs (which also included kitty’s “R.R.E.A.M,” from her EP that he shows up on). For someone with so little material, Lakutis has the energy and confidence of a seasoned rapper. Throughout this album, Lakutis proves himself a better, more inventive and quicker rapper than nearly anyone out there today. “What the Fuck” directly channels old school rap, when it was just starting to get profane. “Black Swann” has more of a frightening vibe to it, pairing with the screaming at the end of “Skeleton”. And “Too Ill For the Law” has a verse done entirely in thirds. It’s a bold, bold verse, and it’s downright perfect.
“3 Seashells” has been awaited for quite some time, and Lakutis proves himself to be one of the most formidable underground rappers working today. The almost unassuming man formally known as Aleksey Weintraub might not seem like it, but whether it’s the simplest of rhymes or a complex triplets rhythm, Lakutis is simply one of the best out there right now. Get on it, people.
-By Andrew McNally
(Side note: I once had the pleasure of meeting Lakutis at a Heems show in a museum, but he looked like he was so turnt that he could barely see. Got on stage and did a perfect verse. What a hero).