From Austin, Texas, Levi Deadman shares on his newest EP release exclusively for Blue Rhymez Entertainment: “The Book of Levi is a journey, not only for the listener but for the artist as well. Unboxable, it speaks to my soul and reflects on who I am and the thoughts that linger inside my twisted mind. It’s written from a Stephen King-like POV. I’m an author and each song is a chapter. The best part about this “book” is that it requires no reading.”
And truth he speaks! Book of Levi is a succession of utmost importance in the uniquely-sounding catalog of Levi Deadman. The EP overtly flaunts the ingenious mind and high-quality songwriting skill of the artist and the successful pairing with the producer behind the eerie instrumentals, Jvatic, as well as the neat acoustic polishing executed by the budding sound engineer, Jsun.
1. Dead Walk In
An ominous organ sound permeates the room and yet, its pitch goes up and down leaving the listener perplexed at what’s to come next.
Walk around the block/ To take my chakras out and shock ’em/ Then go shopping for coffin/ All before I had my coffee/ Made a profit out of pocket lint/ The cocky try and copy/ If the coppers try and stop me/ Imma flash ’em paparazzi – whisper raps Levi Deadman with tinges of artistic insanity in his vocal delivery. Levi Deadman seems to always find a way to insert spiritual references in his lyrical arsenal and we know to appreciate it. It makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable and entertaining.
After the chant-like intro, Levi Deadman rapidly turns the listener’s attention to the catchiest part of the record, the hook! Feel me in the presence with ya goosebump skin/ You see me when you’re sleeping yet you seem to forget/ The size of penance owed is the size of the sin/ But nobody walks out when the dead walk in. Someone give the man a cameo in the next Joker movie!
The authentic eerie approach of the artist on Dead Walk In to configure the mood of the room into one of fear mixed with admiration reflects the very X factor defining Levi Deadman.
The emotional and acoustic technique continues throughout the first verse with some highly notable bars: Running out of self-doubt/ Think I’ve gone Gotti/ A demon demigod he/ Got at least a dozen bodies with his 12 gauge shotty/ Shooting slugs and probably/ Been to two Illuminati. The rapper also shows the bonafide capacity of having fun on a track. He’s not in the booth rapping. He’s on the field with the eyes of a zombie and grinning while looking you dead in the eyes.
As a matter of fact, the second verse presents Levi Deadman using a sort of alter ego saying the most captivating things for a first song on an EP: I can kill ’em all but yet/ I’d rather I just stay in bed/ …/ I ended up in prison for my petulance/ The jury rest assured that I was guilty for my crimes/ Now I haunt their dreams/ And leave ’em screaming every night.
Suffice to say, with that killer bass and hyper dynamic delivery, Dead Walk In makes a tall promise of entertainment, neat production, and theatricals to the public as the lead composition of Book of Levi.
2. Dream Sickle
Don’t get fooled by a romantic guitar and tranquil vibes. This is Levi Deadman, meaning you never get what you’d expect. Abstract summer moon/ Raining on ya thunder beam/ Star struck low blow so be a centipede/ Drink chi for energy/ Enemies radiate hate in a symphony/ Sent shots missing me/ Beethoven composing the flows that I’m meant to be/ Got a fifth if I’m swigging I figure/ You still ain’t a fifth of me, breaks the ice the lengthy hook. We already note alterations in the production style of the song compared to track one: a lot more room, reverb, possibly intentionally misaligned back vocals, cursive flow, and monochrome pitch. The overall impression is that of a modern abstract painting seeming random at first but then revealing its wonders the more you stare at it. When Levi Deadman raps, there’s always a method behind the madness.
Appendages pinned to the wall after severed/ I’m better than ever/ Compared to the rest of these lepers/ I’m leopards I live in the weather that kills underprepared/ I’m lemon and pepper a prepper/ Prepared for endeavors/ That would end ya life/ Like a knife in the side, asks for a rhyme award Levi Deadman. The amount of words making sense and simultaneously rhyming with one another is spectacular. The performer pushes the imagination of the listener to a comforting extreme. After past creations like Mothership, Agony, and Clone one would feel conflicted if the artist wrote traditional bars. The rapper set a niche for his sonic creations and is consistently delivering.
A bit that we can’t miss speaking on is when Levi Deadman raps about having met the devil and he shined my shoes. Other than the admirable audacity to bring in evil forces and diminish them to shoe-polishing workers, this segment pinpoints just how unhinged in painting oneself emotionally is Levi Deadman. Cue the following stashed bodies and the previous eyelid skin. Goosebumps that would excite even R. L. Stine!
The second verse lands like an intensive study of jabs and hooks crafted masterfully and bolted into a melodious flow. Our favorite part: You petty/ Watch me skurt off/ With ya chick and her skirt off/ While burning the rubber from under pirellis/ Watch it transform like it’s Witwicky’s Chevy/ This classic’s a mothership/ Mothers get jelly.
Dream Sickle, despite the illusionary title, deepens the aura of mystery around Levi Deadman flaunting semantic concoctions and mightily mischievous bars.
Siberia commences as a spectacle of sorts. Led by the rapper’s half-serious half-menacing tone, the flow unveils its fever-like cadence: Keep a rifle while I’m writing/ Rolling a loaded titan/ Defiant, a freedom fighter/ In need of the heat of lighters/ Keep a pencil by my side and/ I’m writing about the violence/ Defiant and fuel the fire/ With haters, envy and liars.
The sudden silence opens up an infinite stream of possibilities for the direction of the record. Levi Deadman goes for steady fighter mode rapping as if he was speaking to his future “victim” while looking under his nails to make sure they’re clean for when the Dexter moment arrives: Break ’em up out of the box/ Yeah I wanna roll in them/ I ain’t into purchasing stocks/ I ain’t gonna live/ I ain’t into buying the dip/ I rather skinny dip/ Get lit/ F*ck chicks/ Break hips/ Take no sh*t from any ugly b*tch.
We have to credit the songwriter for never allowing himself to repeat the same word twice for striking rhymes. Despite referring to the same subjects, Levi Deadman knows to provide thrilling equivalents thus helping the listener avoid repetition burnout.
The music of Siberia does sound like ice falling in big chunks from the sky. The unwavering dedication between the beat and the artist translates into a beautiful welding of the two that takes on a cool resonance of its own. Levi succeeds in flawlessly collaborating with the instruments albeit switching the flow up several noticeable times.
The psychedelia of the third track robustly delves even deeper into Levi Deadman’s outstanding particularities on the second verse: Writing haikus at high noon/ In a typhoon tied to a beachside, saloon/ Slinging D an’ harpoons/ Been bad since titty was my only source of food/ Now you get ate and I don’t even need to chew/ You hate that I get laid/ But I get paid for it too. Aaand the chanting is back!
In the end, Siberia followed its own course of discussing more worldly and earthly matters, using the hook interchangeably with the bridge, and featuring the Machiavellian rhyming setups and twists by Levi Deadman.
4. River Styx
“The fourth song is the journey to the underworld along the Styx river to Hades with me, Levi Deadman, as your boat captain, Charon,” details the Rap artist before we hit play.
Bed frame made of bones inside my house a thousand corpses/ Everything I own is black including two new Porsches/ Boarded up the windows now my lighting comes from torches/ Got tactical grenades and I been trained by special forces, immediately dominates the room Levi Deadman. It is rather shocking that the 4th track has no buildup or introductory segment. It is not a bad thing at all, just unexpected! But then again, this is Levi Deadman and we’re in his world right now.
A daunting repeat occurs before the actual verse begins the storytelling process and we like it! Why’s that? Because it’s different than the first time around. The Rap artist seamlessly arranges his repeats, ad-libs, hooks, and bridges with unprecedented acuity in order to cement the message in the listener’s mind without ever falling into the been there heard that loop.
After the artist raps from a nonchalant perspective, the verse catches fire and the drama ensues with thunderous appetite: I’ve got a bone to pick with you/ Then use ya bones to pick my tooth/ I picked apart a plate of food / Then ate the heart of neighbors boo/ Can’t save a shark to tell the truth/ I savor what a hater do/ At tables with a saber tooth/ The layers loose/ I paid my dues/ Fillet my food. Okay, that bass has to be shouted out! Heavy, sexy, and warm on the ears. Yes, that’s what an eargasm feels like. You’re welcome!
As soon as Levi Deadman is done daring the “opponent” to make a move, in comes a swooshing, ominous, low-pitched flute that resembles space synthesizers and it irreversibly pulls the listener into the bottom of the boat: Come sail the river Styx/ With pounds of bricks and souls below us/ Allow the cloak to lead and you can/ Reap in what you sewed up/ This boat ain’t got a motor/ Just an oar an aura doper/ Than a psilocybin trip inside/ The forest on a sofa. Yes, you can gawk and you can gasp. It’s the effect Deadman has on his listeners. The man could have tried his hand at horror novels at this point. Excellent word painter.
Oh! To ensure you are welcomed properly to the underworld’s main street, the Rap artist adds a personalized HI! message: Move in next to Voodoo slayers/ Manson, Dahmer, and Darth Vador/ Oh and me! I’m your new neighbor! Hi!
Now the following bars are worth framing and come as the ultimate head spinner from Levi Deadman:
1. The passion ain’t worth having/ If the vessel just gets capsized
2. A Captain of his own mind/ Can’t be captured by a rolled die
3. Faith is what you make it / Don’t try luck if it’s your last try
The artist just packed generational knowledge into a Modern Age Hip Hop song and it captivated every ounce of our attention while at it!
5. Shaolin Monkey Paw
The acoustic setting of the fifth song begins with the impression of the listener being a drone zooming in on Levi while he’s writing his memoir on a black marble desk-shaped stone and a single vintage lamp flickering on the left side: When the power goes out/ And the power shifts/ We’ll be riding in the regals/ With the Mad Max kit/ Devour what is evil till we become it/ Full circle goes the cycle/ Let the fighting begin.
When the beat drops, so does Levi acknowledge the presence of the “drone” and starts speaking to it: A master to the rōnins/ That never had a home and/ A bastard to opponents/ That ever had a hope it’s/ Hopeless – that ship sailed/ Some sold out, I wished well/ Some hoed out, I stayed real / Rims poked out, got big wheels. The word selection is inducive of Levi Deadman’s own background. While we may not know the specifics, it’s rather clear that the artist had no easy start in life.
Right after the aforementioned section, the rapper switches up the flow for a more fast-paced cadence and gets really picturesque when he begins detailing a backyard reserved for industry plants and professional cappers. Got a hacksaw hid/ A backyard big/ So I dig graves in it/ Big ol’ drill with a brand new bit/ Bought to find me a place/ For me to drill it in, excites the listener’s mind, Levi Deadman.
As the artist abides by the same vein of fervour and controlled rage proving his lyrical capability and flow mastery, he reaches the zenith of Shaolin Monkey Paw when he describes himself: And pen is from God/ I ain’t a star/ I’m a rock in the cosmos/ A profit apostle/ A missile on mission/ Somehow I’m missing/ Like my name was Waldo/ Balls to the wall still/ Drift like a door seal/ Drip like a force field/ Live like a horror film. It is during the very curt pauses throughout the line switches that the music makes itself seen and it is as ominous and thrilling as Levi’s bar spitting.
The following observation is amusing and simultaneously flippant as the double voice heard in the background mocks that of the actual “opponents”: Tell ya auntie when she gets paid to/ Order T-shirts with ya face/ I can’t take back what I say/ You shouldn’t play/ Make sure you stay authentic/ When your pen does hit the page/ All this capping ’bout the bank account/ Dahmer like when I’m on the mic/ F*ckin’ you dudes up.
While we became aware throughout the duration of the record that there is no hook, the outro does subtly create the presence of one by repeating this part. Well played Deadman! Well played.
By being untraditionally structured (hook-verse-double hook) and livelier in cadence than all other four previous tracks, Shaolin Monkey Paw is mightily fascinating and spicy. Levi Deadman knows how to arrange an EP other than just write it. A skill seemingly forgotten by today’s cohort of young songwriters. Thank you Levi Deadman for following the way of the legends and not of the TikTok generation.
Forever does seem so far away/ Until the family, love, and the money change/ We all grew up back, back in the day/ Somehow we survived through the struggle and change/ And now we feel nostalgia when the car is a classic/ Windows down back roads just imagine – sends shivers down the spine Levi Deadman on the opening of Nostalgia.
The exhilirating after-effect of the hook comes as a result of the total absence of the previously abundant psychedelic Rap elements. What a rewarding record for the listener who stood by the dark-filled instrumentals and horror-infused depictions throughout the other 5 songs!
It will sound corny but it IS nice when someone as creatively unbound as Levi Deadman pens a track that we can all relate to and there’s no pistols or backyards in sight. Don’t get us wrong though. The cinematic-filled bars that dominated the rest of the EP were THE absolute sh*t!
The guitar harmonies paired with the warm bass do transmute to a notable commemoration of the “good ol’ days.” For some, that will be the late ’80s, others – ’90s, and for the younger folks – early 2000s. We used to have tape decks and books of CDs/ Now it’s Spotify all we get is a stream/And the artist get a fraction of a penny; it seems.
I need me/ But I can’t live with myself/ I’m diving in the deep end/ Hoping that I sink in/ Making enemies and/ Hoping they ain’t weak (and), beautifully reiterates a well-known feeling to all of us, Levi Deadman. The simple linguistic approach does fit like a glove within the nostalgic context when life was simple and we didn’t have much reading-between-the-lines to do to survive. Today is all about not pissing off just about everybody. But guess what? Silence leads to, sooner or later, a gargantuan implosion where everyone will offend everybody and not give a f*ck about it.
The following openness is utterly compelling and humanistic in nature: Last weekend/ I was thinking I might kill myself/ Even if I reached out/ I doubt I’d reach help/ Now let that sink in with the depth of guilt/ You couldn’t fathom what I drag in/ When I walk out in the world /The weight of seeing faces is enough for me to melt. There ya go. He IS human after all. And a good one at that.
Ensuring he doesn’t leave his audience on a negative note, Levi Deadman speaks of rising like a Phoenix through ashes/ Like a rose in the crack of/ Concrete between traffic and makes it well-known you too, can choose it through action.
The delicate instrumental, the sincere sentiment, and the listener-friendly narrative add a layer of whimsicality and compassion to the otherwise artistically ruthless, Levi Deadman. That’s the magic of Nostalgia.
In essence, Book of Levi makes the biggest sense in the world title-wise, for it beckons the audience to meet the artist, the person, the man, the ghost of the past, in few words, the entirety of Levi Deadman’s personality. Lavish in rhyming schemes and double (even triple) meanings, the lyrical narrative of the 6-song EP is a monumental milestone in the artist’s career.
EP Credits: Levi Fuchs (Levi Deadman) – Artist, Songwriter; Josue Jonathon Valenzuela (Produced by Chino aka Jvatic) – Music Producer; Jason Ebener (Jsun) – Recording and Sound Engineer.
Make sure you stream the Book of Levi on YouTube Music HERE, Tidal HERE, Deezer HERE, Apple Music HERE, Amazon Music HERE, and on Spotify below:
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