The Write Away
"I know you're probably still sleeping, but I've been up for about an hour. And I just made the sickest fuckin' beat you ever heard in your life." If that message on Incyte's answering machine refers to the song "Numbers," then I have to say: Right on. On top of the song's audacious hook, sampling Sesame Street jingles for a sex jam is definitely sick.
But it's just one irresistible groove out of many on Incyte's second album, The Write Away. On nearly all the songs, Incyte's steady flow locks in with a big beat and Sound Boro's eccentric production style -- a style that incorporates Ken Weber's grungy guitar, the warmth of classic R&B, Latin flavors and Philly strings.
For the obligatory what's-up-Pittsburgh cut, "The City Slicker," Incyte reinterprets that plinky theme from "Another Day in Paradise," which results in some (perhaps unintentional) ironic interplay between Pittsburgh landmarks, Incyte, and well, Phil Collins. True, high-pitched vocal samples seem a little beat at this date, and "See the Sun" could've used more bake time. But overall, the music connects, especially on "Lonely Road" and the fake-emcees send-up "Marberry."
Incyte's tone and delivery are stellar throughout -- smooth, controlled and precise. His rhymes can be extremely literal, though, which sometimes makes listening to Incyte more like comprehending numerical data than having full-color word pictures explode in your head.
The Write Away is yet another high-quality product of I.D. Labs studios (DJ Huggy co-produces several tracks), and on the basis of this strong showing, Incyte and his team seem a safe bet to snag a record deal. Once Incyte's palette of images broadens, as I'm sure it will -- watch out, Wiz. And just about everyone else.