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Album Review: El 4 Es Azul – EP (May 7, 2021) – Pimp Flaco & Blackthoven

May 14, 2021

The Context – Much like rock music, hip-hop and rap styles have expanded their commercially viable American roots into global music markets. Europe currently stands as a bastion for rap with prominent hip-hop movements in UK’s grime and drill, France’s southern and northern, Germany’s migrant hip-hop and New School, as well as Spain’s música urbana and trap subgenres. Each of these variants of Euro rap contain conscious lyrical and stylistic criticisms of their nation/community’s socio-political cultures. Naturally, European rap artists are shrouded in controversy for these musical jabs of truth.

A subject of such hip-hop infamy is Spain’s Pimp Flaco. The Barcelona-based rapper and producer helped propel trap into the limelight in Spain in the mid-to-late 2010s as a music video-friendly heel feuding with fellow hip-hop collective Los Santos – PXXR GVNG (featuring Yung Beef, Khaled, and Kaydy Cain). Moreover, the hip-hop community and fans alike have criticized the young Pimp’s drug and sex-fueled lyrics as well as his braggadocios self-proclamations as being the best rapper in the Spanish game. To date, Pimp Flaco has released a flurry of in-your-face solo mixtapes and singles as well as produced a full-length LP in 2017’s Terremoto Turquesa with his contemporary Kinder Malo under the name Dora Black.

The Content – Partnering with producer Blackthoven, Pimp Flaco released the EP El 4 Es Azul in early May 2021. The laidback “Ra” initiates the record with a sentimental sound interrupted briefly, yet starkly with a digital glitch from Blackthoven. Pimp Flaco returns to his trap-centric beginnings on “Tranquilo” in spite of a more subdued production and flow per his previous releases. Kinder Malo joins forces again with the duo on “Vengo del Futuro”—a considerable increase in hardened tempo and tone thanks to the featured verse. “Game Over” is a toe-tapping conclusion to the record ending resolutely with its Drake-esque groove.

The Skinny – The Pimp Flaco and Blackthoven collab El 4 Es Azul is a more humbling selection from the oft criticized música urbana artist. The Spaniard seemingly explores an introspective sound indicative of the melancholic color within the title of the record; however, the duo’s efforts result in a soothing and calm sonic scape. El 4 Es Azul reveals a softer and poignant side to the rambunctious edge of Pimp Flaco albeit its small, but significant sample size.

The Rating – 6.8/10

El 4 Es Azul – EP

  1. Ra
  2. Tranquilo
  3. Vengo del Futuro
  4. Game Over

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