What happens when you cross a Post Malone (plus 15 years) look-alike with an instrumental progeny of RZA? Enter Galaxy Cloak, a dedicated hip-hop duo with one intention: “To end the stupor of modern day hip-hop, and bring back the living creature it once was.”
The alternative hip-hop duo consists of emcee Menes The Pharaoh and producer Sorcery Orchestra. The aggressive, edgy group strives to shift the paradigm in hip-hop with their controversially raw and uncut self-titled debut project. Amidst their flurry of 2 SoundCloud followers and 9 Twitter followers, the truly underground Galaxy Cloak seemingly takes inspiration from the rough-natured niche of hip hop; namely, the Wu-Tang Clan, comic book rap, and coarse independent tapes.
The production on Galaxy Cloak undoubtedly mimics that of The RZArector. Incorporating numerous samples and film dialogue interludes, Sorcery Orchestra elicits a healthy balance of nostalgia with psychedelia. At instances, the producer impresses with futuristic nuances and sonic allusions to space. As a result, Galaxy Cloak is no coffee table hip-hop. The tape’s instrumentals emerge as a redeeming feature, however, even then are they fairly rough, lacking any emphasis to completely shoulder the project.
Menes The Pharaoh’s vocals incorporate monotonous tones, loud yelling, and the classic New York accent. Intentions of sounding rough through his tone and delivery make his flow produce just that. Unfortunately, it comes off as an insufficient interpretation of that classic gritty rap sound. The self-proclaimed “dirtiest emcee you have ever met” makes rhymes that consistently fall flat:
“I can feel every nerve tingling / I can feel my fingernails growing / I can feel my long hair dying / beggin’ to be cut, but no you must grow it to be as long as Samson’s /
The simple lyricism doesn’t stop Menes from illustrating an ample spectrum of cadences at astonishing speeds. Coupled with his ability to paint a picture, Menes The Pharaoh accomplishes exactly what he set out to be: radicalized, gritty hip-hop.
Including cheesy pen and pixels visuals, old school-inspired instrumentals, and all-capitalized song titles, Galaxy Cloak’s debut album may or may not have brought hip-hop back 20 years. Nevertheless, the duo fits among the recent resurgence of boom-bap and eccentric rap (see Joey Bada$$ and RTJ, respectively). One can appreciate the mission of such an offbeat union, especially with clear, inspired tracks riddled with nostalgia.