About two years back I attended my first MAGfest. For those unfamiliar, MAGfest is Music and Gaming Festival that takes place the first weekend of January every year. It’s a four day 24-hour festival that promotes the love of gaming, music, and the crossover appeal of the two. The first year in attendance I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of incredible people who shared the same interests I do. I dedicated the time to seeing as many artists as I possibly could.
That Friday night I found myself in attendance of a group known as the ChocoBros. The ChocoBros are made up of three distinct artists: Creative Mind Frame, Ohm-I, and, friend of the site, Kadesh Flow. You may remember Kadesh from the review I did of his incredible project last year, Otaku Mood. It was this night that I became very familiar with the The NPC Collective. While I was familiar with many of the individual artists that came together for the cause, I was unfamiliar with the group itself. This put me into contact with a man by the name of Chris Allen, known by most as EyeQ.
EyeQ is an artist based out of Orlando, Florida. That’s the only word that can truly encompass the amount of talent this man has. He’s a writer, poet, expressionist, visionary, and what we’re going to be talking about today, an extraordinary MC. Around this time last year EyeQ dropped the first in a series of EPs/Tapes known as TRIPLE L, the rapper’s personal tribute to soul-legend Anita Baker. The first in the series is called Live and it introduced a tribute seen, not only in samples chosen by the artist, but the message as a whole. The rapper has this unique ability to lead the listener on a journey to look around and inside themselves. However, in a world dominated by prominently depressing emo hip hop (which there is a place for), this introspection is overwhelmingly positive. It was this project that caught my attention, and led me to having the incredible honor of checking out the second in the Triple L series, Love.
Right away, from the opening moments of the track “Fairy Tale” I can see that, not only has Allen returned to form, but he’s only gotten better. He reflects on the successes of the people around him and in turn the successes he is now facing. It’s a representation of living your life to the fullest. Success is what you make it. The opening track is also the artists way of saying that his life isn’t as pretty as it’s made out to be. He suffers every day, but that suffering drives him in a way to continue to work on his own musical career. That’s what he loves, music.
It’s the second track that puts all of the pieces together. In “Lately”, EyeQ’s flow kicks in after a very addictive saxophone opening by an artist mentioned earlier, Creative Mind Frame. While unique in his own way, Q’s flow reminds me of that of Slug’s from Atmosphere. This positive look inside yourself and at the people around you reminds me of their work. That being said, EyeQ’s focus on the project as a whole takes it to the next level. This track continues as Chris goes on to describe a person in his life that he would do absolutely anything for. It’s an indescribable love that he’s running through. It sets the tone for the rest of the release. A love for not only each other, but yourself as well. This vibe continues on to track 3, “Rapture”. EyeQ goes on to describe the goddess in his life. The title fits as the artist ignores the world falling down around him as long as he has this person in his life: “nothing compares to you”.
The EP rounds out with the final two tracks, “Same Ol” and “Sweet Love”. “Same Ol” is the artists full tribute to a person he describes as his best friend, the woman he will one day call his wife. It was a track that had my own wife in tears when she heard it. Allen’s description of his feelings is truly beautiful and you can see that in his description of his love as his savior. “Sweet Love” is honestly my favorite track on the EP. It’s a story of lovers from school that I feel everyone can identify with. Me personally as well. I met my wife in high school, always liked each other but never dated. We lost touch for a few years and came back together. The rest is history and EyeQ really encapsulated that feeling in this final track.
EyeQ is a phenomenal artist that is going to do huge things in the years to come. We’re just now entering a new year and I already have what will probably be one of my favorite projects of 2020. The musician’s tribute to Anita Baker has been absolutely flawless, and I can’t wait to hear the third release of his TRIPLE L series. Love drops January 26th on bandcamp.
The Phenomenal Dylan Lyles is an obsessive fan of cinema, pro wrestling, horror, vinyl, and comic books. Bursting from the womb in 1992, Dylan’s surrounded himself with all things geek culture. Earliest memories include Wrestlemania 11, ‘The Death of Superman,’ and Jason Voorhees emerging from the waters of Camp Crystal Lake. You may see him sharing his opinion on just about everything on the internet or maybe even working the crowds at pop culture events up and down the east coast. You love him and he loves you!