Review: Ray Kincaid opens the doors to the “Bizarre Arcade” for a second time

Those of you who frequent 1DF may already be familiar with Ray Kincaid and his smooth forms of rap. If you aren’t, last year we took the time out to review his “Artistic Depression” project which we highly recommend. That project delved into his inner-thoughts and emotions dealing with depression. For his new release “Bizarre Arcade 2: Nostalgia Lung Fu”, the sequel to 2013’s Bizarre Arcade, Kincaid turns the mirror away from himself and immediately starts to examine the world as we know it.

The project starts with a welcome service for all of the listeners before gradually progessing into the lead single “Handshake 2”. Though we’ve already heard it this is still one of my favorites from the project. Heavy production and an even heavier focus on lyricism drives the track. If a revolt had a soundtrack that song would be it.

Kincaid continues on with a more light hearted single “Dojo 3-Proving Ground”. Produced by Samuel Fernandez, the beat contains a sample of from the B52’s that’ll be familiar for all the Family Guy fans out there. As far as the production goes this one definitely stands out as one of the best. Ray’s sharp flows only further the tracks enjoyment factor.

One theme Kincaid seems to carry throughout the project is his references to Cleopatra. Three of the album’s tracks hold ties to the Egyptian Pharaoh. The first is “Cleopatra’s Revenge”, more of a slow burning record that focuses on his bedroom escapades with a certain lady who appears to already be taken. “Cleopatra’s Pool” is a jazzier cut. Cymone helps to round out the single with a soulful hook and smooth bridges. I’ll let you listen yourself if the title doesn’t help to indicate the content on this one. “Cleopatra’s Blue Hair” find Ray Kincaid in the midst of what seems to be a buffet-style assortment of drugs. He realizes though the only drug needed is that special lady with the blue hair. Extra points for the Anderson .Paak sample.

When it comes to the best song of the project I think my favorite is “Sundays at Offbeat”. The ode to Mississippi’s favorite comic book and record store instantly caught my ear. Production from PCB makes this one actually sound like a sunny Sunday afternoon. Its a light-hearted vibe that makes this song stand out to me. Alexander FRE$CO and James Virgodo both turn in impressive guest verses which help take the song to another level.

The project closes on a good note and a sound that’s unique for Ray Kincaid. DJ SonicFreak helps to concoct an outro that is as funky as they come. Seriously, this is just a groove session in all it’s glory. If you were planning on going to the skating rink anytime soon it’s pretty mandatory you request that.

Overall the project flows well and electro-style sounds help to bring that video game aura to “The Arcade”. I was a huge fan of Artistic Depression but I would say this may be a more enjoyable listen in part to its lighter content. Where the former project was designed to provoke thought this one is a better fit to have fun and mellow out to. By the end of the set you’ll be pulling out your quarters to keep the joystick moving. Ray Kincaid started 2017 off with a bang and the Jackson, MS native is someone I would bet will only keep rising from here.


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