When you see the cover artwork and read the EP title, Monday Through Sunday Quick Learning Universal Game, you might think you’re about to learn the instructions for a new Monopoly version. But then you’re pleasantly stunned when you discover this is a legitimate banger. Don Esco’s Check (Show Me Sum) bestows absurd amounts of confidence, an incredibly-catchy instrumental, and a top-notch production enough to raise the roof. The smooth transition of flows between Don Esco and Kyno$abe lights up the atmosphere and offers a nice touch of three-dimensionality. Without further ado, let’s get to breaking down the record.
Without stretching the truth, that very flute you get to hear in the beginning, has the license to dumbly captivate you. There’s something about that flute motif on a rap record that renders the entire experience an extravagant one. Maybe we got Jay-Z to thank for (Big Pimpin’ is a classic hit song using the distinct tune of a flute), or 50 Cent (Just A Lil Bit is another bonafide banger using the same sound), or possibly even Future (Mask Off got over 430 millions views as of Oct. 2020). Rap history shows that a rap flow and a suave flute make for staple records that deliver and overdeliver. Subsequently, we already got a good feeling about what’s to come on Check (Show Me Sum).
Don Esco dives straight into the hook building the solid foundation of the song: “How feel you better check?/ I see so much disrespect/ Sh*t is real on they neck/ Go and flex/ Till ain’t none left/ F*ck a deal/ Ain’t no stress/ Lost a feelin’/ In my chest/ Pop a pill/ Gimmie sex/ You now vibin’ wit tha best”. The flow is consistent and bouncy, think of a ping-pong ball going from one side to the other. The wording is notably comprehensible and easy to replicate from the listener’s perspective. And before moving on to the first verse, we get an even-catchier post-hook: “And I can’t go for none/ Heard you actin’ boujee and you bad/ Go head and show me sum/ Word they right up in here poppin’ tags/ They ain’t the only one/ Wanna move exactly how I move/ That’s why they on me huh/ True bosses never ever front they move” That dark-toned piano in the low background counterbalances the airy flute and gives a gravitas oomph to the record. And have you peeped that bass??? Lord Almighty this is a hit record waiting to happen.
Don Esco’s central narrative of the first verse is in sync with the overall message, detailing how he’s aware of his songwriting skills and how good life is, “Know tha rhythm of tha track/ So they rappin’ it tonight/ If I do say so myself/ I might get hooked on livin’ life”, then expands on his long-term thinking, “Always stand on what I stood/ Chosen Visionary life”, and ends with his identity goals, “Money knowledge and respect/ Gimmie power nothing less”. The artist’s lyrical mannerism stays transparent and makes its point across without hidden layers to the meaning.
The second verse belongs to Kyno$abe and proves that he is the almost-maniacal alter ego of Check (Show Me Sum): “Work get stressful/ So I might get high to it”, “Shoutout TYO I get bored too quick/ I Pass her when I’m done”, “It’s f*ck all the hate n*****/ If they twins/ Ima take ’em on a double date n****”, “Always keep a tool with us and that’s just in case n*****”. It’s also interesting how Kyno$abe’s baritone voice enhances the grim dynamic he’s playing with, while Don Esco’s tenor voice highlights the go-getter mentality. This juncture of artistic forces grants the audience profound satisfaction. We officially approve.
The song’s outro underlines that subtle but imposing piano and makes stellar use of the line containing the title, thus impregnating it in the minds and memories of those listening: “Go ‘head and show me sum”. Don Esco started off with his best foot in the music industry, marking a substantial entry as a rap artist on the hip hop market with his ingeniously-named EP, Monday Through Sunday Quick Learning Universal Game. As for the Check (Show Me Sum) record, it’ll be the public’s go-to banger off the project. It’s too good.
Song Credits: Shemarr Lavell Taylor (Don Esco) – Main Artist/Producer, Kyno Wilbon (Kyno$abe) – Featured Artist, Vincent Absher (Vinnie Beatz) – Mix and Mastering Engineer, Giancarlo Chatman (Gian) – Recording Engineer – Studio Location SanDiego, CA, Yung Dza – Beat Producer.
Review by Mariana Berdianu
Blue Rhymez Entertainment ©2020