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“Bakin’ Soul” Ranks Amongst Raz Fresco’s Best Material (Album Review)

If I’m not mistaken, I believe this is the 15th proper full-length LP from Toronto emcee/producer Raz Fresco. Someone who I’ve been familiar with since high school whether it be some of his features or his own extensive discography including the Magneto Was Right mixtape series, the Futurewave-produced Gorgeous Polo Sportsmen album, the Nicholas Craven-produced Boulangerie album, the Cake beat tapes or more recently the Gia…À La Carte collab EP with Estee Nack from last summer. But with Cookin’ Soul coming off producing the acclaimed Supreme Dump Legend: Soul Cook Saga for Tha God Fahim last month, Bakin’ Soul here seemed more than promising to me going into it.

“360°” starts with a lo-fi boom bap instrumental refusing to let the mean city take your smile whereas “The Pure” featuring Dano & Lil Supa takes a funkier approach talking about how all that frontin’ will leave you fucked up in the end. The drumlessly jazzy “Receipts” goes after the loot prior to Estee Nack & Lord Apex joining Raz on “Kodak Moment” bringing back the kicks & snares talking about every time they release drop new music being Kodak moments themselves.

Moving forward, “Snakes & Ladders” goes for a symphonic approach confessing he learned life for the first time after playing the titular game that is until “Keep on Pushing” featuring The Musalini returns to the boom bap making it all money when they spit. Life Lessons” gets introspective over a crooning sample with kicks & snares while “Regrets” featuring Tha God Fahim teaches the youth not to make the same mistakes that they did. “Marvelous Fabrics” reminds that the hood’s still starving even after giving favor to Ukraine, but then “No Cap” featuring Gritfall closes up shop with a cloudy beat calling out labels for paying ads selling backwards lifestyles.

I personally was introduced to Raz a little after I started my freshman year of high school hearing his feature on “Why Bother” off of Ace Hashimoto’s 5th mixtape All Day DeShay: AM since it’s no secret that I was an Odd Future kid during my adolescence & Bakin’ Soul most definitely stands as some of his best work primarily because of how organic the chemistry he has with Big Size & Zock Beats feels.

Score: 8/10



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