Esinchill, Vigilante

Sjimon Gompers

Esinchill, Vigilante [Jake Records]

The Bay
Area’s post-Hyphy scene has been met with ghost riding car wrecks. Mistah
F.A.B. flipped over his whip in early February of this year, the Chronicle last
week described a side show pandemonium
of smoke, cars, noise, bodies on the ground and three dead with Oakland police
cracking down on all side show exhibitions. Amid the sirens and milky exhaust from
crashed cars stands Digital Underground’s Esinchill, providing a dose of both
realism and personal catharsis in his delivery on the recent release of Vigilante
on Seattle’s Jake Records. Mistah F.A.B. has championed Esinchill as the “greatest
underrated rapper,” DJ Quick has canonized him in the
“same light of the great ones,” Shock G says “he’s ridiculous,” and Redman has
advised us to “watch out.”

As an underdog, his star shines bright through a
cutting, crisp, competent and confident delivery. His tracks exhibit both
talents and painful introspection. On “Feel My Pain,” Esinchill covers the
gamut from his gift of rhyme, “hip hop I’m so sorry that I’m lyrical,” to theosophical
concerns, “who am I to blame the almighty God spiritual, probably, didn’t
expect an apology.” Like Tupac’s own personal detailing of his relationship
with his mother in “Dear Mama,” Esinchill raps about communicating with his dad
in “Daddy was a Sailorman” about the particulars of paternity along with the responsibilities
and consequences of child rearing. Ensinchill raps,“You see his father wants him to stay
in school, but he’s ready to play football, his academic scholarship is just a
tool.”

The inner
glimpses showcase the soul of his delivery, just as his self assurance carries
out the sound of a man emerging from the sidelines of the Bay Area’s wings with
a swagger. “Soul of the City” rings out loud with “won’t stop ‘til I’m on top,
say hello to the underdog, it’s a long shot.” A nod back to the long road toward
recognition with a focus set on the future of influence. “Swallow your pride,
follow my stride…man listen, I am ambition.”

Unlike the
thizzed out candied colored Louis Vuitton capped-hubris of the aforementioned Hyphy
movement, Esinchill’s raps are rooted in realism and concern for the community
of Oakland. His conscious approach outlines issues of police discrimination,
racial profiling and rebellion on tracks “Where is the Justice,” “What You
Stand For,” and the ominous bass-synth bubbling closer “Oakland City Blues.” Ensinchill relates the woes of Oakland with, “Right
up the block you can hear lots of shootin’, just up the street you can see lots
of prostitution.” His melancholic love and concern for his hometown begs an
answer to the senselessness of violence and crime that Oakland experiences
daily. “Gotta find me a solution to these Oakland
city blues.”

Esinchill transcends great charismatic flow
into the content of his surroundings and inner thoughts of character. The reality
that Esinchill depicts is a pursuit for equality, justice and understanding in
a world of corporate hype that would have you believe that reckless side shows
are the root of the problem. The light shines on the contemporary issues
plaguing the Bay, while his own light shines bright. Esinchill’s emergence from
the East Oakland shadows could not have come at a better time.

 
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