EpicMustDie – Gamble (Write Up)

Written By : Garfield

Westside Compton Artist Epic Must Die is all in with the release of his new album “GAMBLE”An impromptu SXSW performance served as a catalyst for this already up-and-coming rapper. 

They say when life gives you lemons you gotta make the most of that shit. Well, solo artist Epic Must Die is no stranger to winning with that funny hand dealt by the maker. A performance for the young rapper at SXSW (that nearly didn’t happen thanks to a series of unfortunate events) took him down a path of an enlightenment that most songwriters dream of. 

The dream is simple. The chances however, are astronomical. When a rapper who is still paying their dues takes the stage, they hope to God someone with influence is in the crowd. That’s exactly what happened to Epic Must Die. After traveling multiple states from California to Texas, being held up by law enforcement, and having his queue in the lineup suddenly shifted when it came time to perform – Epic had arrived. 

Slightly unprepared, the fearless rapper conquered the set list, and his rhymes had not gone unnoticed. Parting his way through the crowd, the Taylor Gang General Wiz Khalifa approached the front of the stage and planted himself, alongside Amber Rose. It was all the inspiration he needed to know that he was going where he needed to be. In an interview with Vice after the show, Epic had questioned whether he was doing the right things to garnish attention as a rapper. That all changed on that fateful day in Texas.

Epic resides from Westside Compton and certainly has the cadence to match. His ability to deliver punchlines and G-Funk flows emulates notable predecessors such as DJ Quik and Problem. The music Epic expresses describes the modern trials and tribulations of every nigga raised within LA county limits. The beat selection is heavy with simple and complex Dr. Dre-esque piano chords, subtle uses of autotune, and well placed samples that don’t outshine the verses and word play.

The album boasts features from Westside Boogie, KB Devaughn, and DRAM. While the artists’ work within the familial west-coast, laid back tempo – there’s an undeniable variability between implementation of their skills. DRAM’s feature on Throwback is presented as a slow, emotional R&B track, while Westside Boogie’s feature taps into a west coast sound that is similar to Tupac’s tales of inner-city suffering. 

Two tracks I mess with heavily that I consider sleepers on this album are Weapon and Suga Free. The first mentioned sounds more like Juvenile on his first album 400 Degreez, and for that aspect I consider it the most unique song on the track. Epic’s rhyme scheme on Weapon flawlessly crafted. Every adlib, transition, and syllable is perfectly timed. Suga Free is another track where everything is lined up correctly. With a horn sample that gives Miami Vice vibes, it’s another track that lies outside of the genre of most west coast raps. Epic raps on both of these songs with a flow that transcends his Compton identity. 

Rappers from Compton have a heavy crown to bear. It is considered California’s Mecca when it comes to hip-hop. The best that did it from the region started from selling tapes from the trunk, performing backyard shows, and rapping to make a living. The word ‘gamble’ is an inherent trait. By definition, it means an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success. Epicmustdie decided to take the long shot, and it paid off.

Check out his new album Gamble out now, available everywhere.