Chicago emcee WateRR drops his most recent project ‘Compendium Of Arcanum‘ as he teams up with producer Lupara to ensure we get the best of both worlds on another imaginitative and unique hip hop project. The self proclaimed ‘sawed off shotgun meets a Master Bladesmith’ project, impecably matches the two elements to create an album that captures the listeners attention, and maintains it throughout the 13 tracks, dropping truth bombs and cerebral jewels into your mental while entertaining you. It has a fresh vibe, and continues to push the envelope regarding hip hop and the sound of the culture.
WateRR is as underrated as any emcee toiling away in the underground, and, like many of these underrated artists, he has an incredible gift for songwriting, a razor sharp pen and a flow that brings it all together to create brilliant hip hop. The focus on quality wordplay, while trying to also create and carry a thematic narrative is hard to complete, but WateRR does it with aplomb time and time again. The word ‘effortless’ gets thrown around a bit, but WateRR is one of those emcees who certainly make listening to his work, an easy, engaging and rewarding task, and ‘Compendium Of Arcanum‘ is another example of this.
The ‘Intro‘ is delicate, easing the listener into the project with purposeful strings and a drumless beat to ensure you’re catching the verbals WateRR is bringing – just setting the stage for the bars to come. ‘Silent Maneuvers‘ is a dramatic joint that uses really dope strings to create a vibe, and WateRR gets straight to it, carving up the track with his creative wordplay and the chorus is addictive, all while the head repeatedly nods. Next, ‘Circumstances & Consequences‘ gets a little deeper as the vibe becomes a little more purposeful and the lyrics are more verbose than the previous track, as this track hypnotizes the listener before the Machacha produced ‘Property & Paper‘ continues the melodic vibe and WateRR gives hip hop heads some knowledge about the definition of winning.
‘Cheebah & C-Notes‘ sees WateRR bring a double time delivery over a Farmabeats score, and it’s a wavy kind of joint with a chorus that is deliberately delivered and ‘Michelin Star‘ hits the headphones with some Middle-Eastern / Wild West influence on the boards with Mightyhealthy the producer responsible for this vibe which WateRR crushes effortlessly. Next up is ‘Travel The Soundscape‘ which is an ethereal kind of spacy joint, with a piercing flow doing damage over the instrumentals, then ‘Bathe In The Jordan‘ gets a little darker, moodier and Flu captures this with his usual edginess while WateRR continues to deliver high end lyricism that you need to double back to capture.
WateRR delivers some social commentary interwoven with an introspective angle on ‘Whenever The Drama Came‘ and Defce joins him on the track and makes a big time impact with his delivery. ‘Hour Glass‘ is a creative take on the notion of time and the fight to make it count and the production feels retrospective and this is certainly a deliberate strategy, then ‘Hexes & Curses‘ is back to the dirty, grimy sound that lurks in the shadows of your speakers but WateRR is surgical with his street-themed narrative. ‘Versace Frames‘ is an interesting track, part up-beat vibe, with a hint of triumphant undertone and the lyricism is high end, before the album closes out with ‘Tool Of Thought‘ produced by Hobgoblin and this is a more traditional boom bap style joint, but there is synergy between the score and the bars that WateRR brings and it’s a brilliant way to conclude what has been a wonderful, diverse audio experience.
Bangers: Tool of Thought, Silent Maneuvers, Bathe In The Jordan, Hexes & Curses.
Score: 9 / 10. Another wonderful album from WateRR who really needs more respect on his name both as an artist and as a lyricist. His ability to not only craft albums that engage and entertain throughout, but to deliver bars that continually have you running it back to ensure you got what you thought you heard, is upper-echelon. His flow is always a nice blend of confident and captivating, smooth and edgy all at once, and the varied production on this, as well as the multiple ‘themes’ are held together well byt his beat choice, album composition and his ability to spit relatable rhymes. Get this into the rotation now, and explore his whole catalogue if you’ve been sleeping.