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Black Canvas Preludes “The Renaissance III” by Dropping “Vamp: Darkness is the Motto” (Album Review)

This is the 4th full-length solo album from Grand Rapids emcee Black Canvas. Emerging in 2014 off his eponymous debut EP, he would continue to make his presence in the underground felt by expanding his discography to the debut Triple Hero followed by a sophomore EP picking up where the self-titled predecessor left off & the next LP Living in the Moment. He just came out with ‘93 Chevelle last summer & is returning over a year later by dropping Vamp: Darkness is the Motto.

Ultra-Black” starts the album with a gospel-heavy sample & hi-hats encouraging to put utilities over religion whereas “AK-47” featuring Mavimarx works in some grueling piano chords talking about being the lyrical soldiers that they are. “Hyperbeast” goes into a more luxurious direction boasting the power he has at his fingertips just before “Flying Missiles II” follows that up with a boom bap-laced sequel to a highlight off his first collab EP with B.H. Tryggs called The Renaissance.

Meanwhile, we have Canvas on “Soldiers of Fortune” keeping the kicks & snares in tact talking about how you can’t defend the streets since they plaintiff’s & there ain’t any other way to explain it leading into the soulful “Family Ties” taking everyone to church. “Home Invasion” continues to throw a rugged range party while the groovy “Strange Fruit” declaring that he’s the highest he’s ever been.

The penultimate track “Triple Crown” featuring B.H. Tryggs & Sonny Ski finds the trio coming together for the hardcore boom bap heater talking down on every wack rapper out right now that is until “They Can’t Cancel Me” rounds out the album with horns, kicks & snares basically saying that he’s immune to cancel culture as a whole which puts a smile on my face since I personally think cancel culture has been an abused power for too long.

Of the 4 albums & couple EPs under his belt, Vamp: Darkness is the Motto switches it up a bit compared to his earlier efforts & one that’ll satisfy the average listener quite a bit. The Oracle is continuing to outdo himself on the production-end evolving his sound so Canvas can drop introspective lyricism with a darker twist for nearly a half hour.

Score: 8/10

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