Published Apr 10, 2020Over the past three years, Snotty Nose Rez Kids have made a name for themselves as a First Nations rap duo known for their exciting stage performances and stadium-like anthems. Though COVID-19 may prevent them from hitting a stage any time soon, it hasn't stopped the release of their latest EP, Born Deadly.
At a time where police brutality has been at the forefront of the news for black people, and particularly Indigenous communities across Canada, "Cops with Guns Are The Worst!!!" appears appropriate, but feels more trendy than powerful. In fact, the chorus of the trap-leaning single ("Fuck 12, pulling up like gang gang") exudes a sense of privilege that doesn't have consequences for the two-member group. Similarly, though interpolating Kendrick Lamar's "untitled 07 | 2014-2016," "Kobe Face" feels like a moment that capitalizes on Kobe Bryant's death rather than paying homage to the L.A. giant.
The loosely electronic-industrial driven "TMZ" is braggadocios falls more in line with the sound Snotty Nose Rez Kids have become known for, but it's the previously released single "Real Deadly" that turns out to be the glue holding Born Deadly together. Aggressive, bass-heavy and filled with a variety of deliveries, Young D and Yung Trybez play off each other's energy reminiscent of earlier tracks "Skoden" and "Savages."
By contrast to previous releases, the 5-track EP doesn't centre around any particular themes, but instead comes across as a smorgasbord of thoughts that don't necessarily connect. Though Snotty Nose Rez Kids can spit a bar, Born Deadly is much less threatening than it appears. (Independent)