It’s 2024 and you know what that means. Yup, you guessed it. Social Lubricant released their self-titled album and we review it:

Social Lubricant is American depression.

90% of SL’s rhymes aren’t for the sake of rhyming. It’s seemingly honest to their experience, which takes presidence over letting us know how “dope” they are at “rhyming” on Social Lubricant.

The album’s artwork, an overhaul of Outkast‘s Stankonia cover art, implies parody. Truth is, there are legit comparisons.

Bags” in particular, may fit right in the world of the aforementioned project by ‘Kast. It’s sound like A Tribe Called Outkast. A cautionary tale about being involved with young Sirens who run game on lesser-knowing individuals. The production and around-the-way-girl hook are retro in the best of ways. A clear highlight.

It’s a song like “Smile” though, that represents the overall tone and messaging of the SL. Over a guitar-driven instrumental, reminiscent of something from Eminem‘s Slim Shady LP, our two narrarators run through life’s lowlights: “I maxed out the debt, it wasn’t wealth/I looked for love, it wasn’t felt/I don’t have the card, it wasn’t dealt” one half of the Kalamazoo, MI duo gloomily spits.

Songs like “Pill Yourself“, “Drug$” & “Summer Nights” are essentially in the same wheelhouse. It’s either escapism in the form of mentally reversing to better times and/or just flat out doing drugs out of depression. Who wants a job? Who wants to live a bleak existence? Not Social Lubricant; or do they?

Let’s be clear:

While speaking on content, we can’t skip over quality. These two not only compliment each other but are individually good rappers in most technical senses tou can think of. Storytelling is a premium and focus but flows and tonality are also high on their repertoire.

The latter half of the album loses the production battle, for sure. On the first half, they took some chances in the world of “experimental Hip-Hop” and they mostly worked. The backside of SL wasn’t so lucky.

Actually, most of the last 5 songs are either lesser renditions of side A songs or don’t add much by way of subject or perspective expansion.

For instance, “Taste Me” could serve as a freaky Side B to “Bags”. Same with “Work Hard” and “Smile”.

Though, it is “Work Hard” that contains the most powerful line on the entire LP on the last bars of the second verse: “We all find ways to stop ourselves from thinking“. What a recap.



Review, Review G-HOLY.COM, 2024