Westend Music Review: When The Sky Cracks
Stitch Early is a top tier artist on the Frederick scene. His messages are strong, visuals are incomparable, and the finished product is always calculated perfection. When The Sky Cracks is no different.
The 13-track project consists of woman-centric theme with floating life lessons about money management, struggle, and realization. This album is prompting a response from its listener: What will you do during pivotal times? When your back is against the wall? What and who do you cling to? When The Sky Cracks is like a test of values and evaluation of self; a work of reflective listening and assessment.
It begins with a heavy opening on “The Day After;” preparing the listener for a deep dive. There is noticeably outstanding instrumentation that captures the ear and remains consistent during the project.
Stitch mentions the powerful women in his life throughout the album (i.e. his spouse, grandmother, daughter and children) and the impact and value they have on him. With tracks like “All Times Hers,” money pales in comparison to these relationships and influences.
The production is a vintage type feel. Because Stitch is a hybrid between boom-bap emceeism and modern day lyricism, the quality of the production is full of 90’s basement era sounds.
We found this album to be particularly interesting by Stitch’s choice of references and samples used alongside the overall theme. Stitch pays homage to hip-hop gods like Wu-Tang and LOX with references and plays on words like “money, power, respect.” He spits about everyday living, similar to the storytelling of his legendary influences. He aligns himself with the ways of the 90s but adds his evolved way of thinking to the mix.
Though the interludes seem misplaced, the cohesion of the album is easy to follow. Stitch Early is no doubt a lyricist which calls into question his ability to make zesty, versatile hooks — a few of them sound similar enough to suggest so. “Say It Again” sounds tribal and chant-like but the hook is missing something. The rapper’s songs are always conceptually superior as final products but if his hooks were consistently packin’ the punch, he’d be even more unstoppable.
Our favorite track? Sweet T + Le Canvas
“You are Le Canvas.”
The even cadence with some quirky dips speaks to the black woman directly. In short, Stitch killed this. It embodies the 90’s vibe and bop like no other. If it were a movie, it’d be Love Jones. A song of admiration for the lovers, Stitch incorporates quotes from legendary hip-hop tracks on this song to bring a nostalgic feel.
Why Pocket Check?
Pocket Check is the first single off WTSC. Though it was a loaded selection with an even more vivid message, was it the best choice?
We think so. It was the premise for the entire album and helped set the tone of WSTC as a whole.
“Boogeyman” seamlessly transitions into the last song. The album wraps up with the self-titled track, WTSC. The song is a firecracker and closes the album with a bang. Short and powerful, WTSC has rock and rap elements like Rage Against The Machine and Limp Bizkit. Alternatively different than previous tracks, it leaves the listener on a high.
Let’s see how he measured up last time.
The Great Compromise (2016): 8.2
Stitch remains consistent in his delivery, his approach to music, and his execution. We, his fans, can only expect more.
What do you think of the new Stitch album?
When The Sky Cracks is available on all streaming platforms. Listen and purchase here.
*WESTEND Music Reviews are powered by OUT40 and conducted by the OUT40 Team.*
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