If The Great Gatsby had a rap soundtrack, this would be the theme song. I have never heard such a sophisticated record that was able to elevate to new realms of perception and auditory experience, the old-world narrative of wanting success and financial gains. PyrexPascal is a most intriguing rap record that defies all genre-pre-established limitations: a grown man’s thoughts and objectives layered over a minimalistic piano instrumental. No drums, no fxs, no autotune, no format, no supporting vocals, no enhancing synths. Just a piano, some light, distant guitar strumming, and a voice. Perfect.
You feel expensive even just listening to PyrexPascal. R1-Arthur is gifting the listener with an experience, not just an audio file. There’s something exquisitely vintage and luxurious about bringing the piano forefront and just sort of going along with it. It takes you back to an era you know of, but didn’t live in. Times where technology didn’t have a say-so in an artist’s career. Times when what you saw was what you got. And R1-Arthur seems to be carefully, selectively cropped out of a golden era collage and brought to us in an audio format. This is the real wealth. This is the real rich. This is the true meaning of a confident leader.
“Imma die fresh/ pascal my wrist spinning in da pyrex” goes repeated three times the intro, underlining with the very first 3 words what I just mentioned above, that genuine, uncontestable desire to look your best at all times, even when death is upon you. When you don’t just do it for the gram. When that is who you are. Phenomenal.
“Roll the smoke loop the instrumental/ Lord forgive me for my sins it was incidental/ When I said any means it was just a demo/ Do it for the ghetto couple n***as still in federal” goes to calmly rap R1-Arthur. This highly personal conversation with God that we’re privileged to witness, reverberates of such delicacy but equally of vast self-awareness and acceptance of one’s flaws.
“Swimming in dat hot lava/ I still want a discount if it’s top dolla/ F*ck a shot caller rather be a stock piler” long-term thinking, this is what you’re hearing at this point. It’s most fascinating how R1-Arthur manages to remain relatable while also unwillingly but decidedly positioning himself with the high class through every single element that participates in the rendition of PyrexPascal: the elegant black and white music video, the minimalistic sound, the organic voice, the flow he follows, his primal material needs yet high standards (Mom’s left me with less than a quarter milli/ You not a baller really).
My personal favorite part is probably the following: “I want the power and respect when I get the loot/ If I can get the Maybach I can get the Coupe/ The duck tape’s off the bird watch it take flight/ I break night killer whale you a great white”, like I mentioned before, through his frank admission of desiring power and respect he yet again seems like you and me. Only to talk about Maybachs, Coupes, and killer whales right after. R1-Arthur draws his inspiration from a different realm of existence. Nothing seems too far or too big for him.
My only complaint about this song is that it’s short, but if you think about it… valuable people never overstay their welcome and R1-Arthur is a an artist of substantial idealism, with a voice that’s deep but tranquil, a flow that’s laid back but present, and music that in its simplicity makes place for his infinite confidence.
Review by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2020