California's Clutch Kid releases his debut full length project, Granite Walls. The project's features include fan favorites Crosby and Flaimthrower as well as KiLaMDaPro, P.S., and Jimmy, just Jimmy. The production is handled by a mixture of collaborators like m a n n y. and Bonsai as well as some legends like Madlib. The Majority of the production, however, is credited to Clutch Kid himself.
Content wise, the project serves two main functions. Primarily, Granite Walls is concerned with showcasing Clutch Kid's capacity to hip hop. To that end, it features a considerable range of production styles and lyrical approaches. Secondarily, the project functions as a platform for Clutch to work through some of the challenges life has been presenting to him.
I think what shines brightest on this project is Clutch's ability to execute a slew of production styles. All one need do to see what I mean is observe the juxtaposition of "Blessssssss" and "Originate." On the former, Clutch delivers a bass heavy, trap-inspired beat while the latter finds him riding that classic, crisp boom bap sound.
The one critique I will offer is that something is off with the vocal mixing. I'm no sound engineer but I think there are too many effects layered onto Clutch's vocals making them murky and, at times, difficult to understand. I don't know what drives Clutch to edit his vocals this way, but I personally feel it detracts from what would otherwise be a pleasingly personal and expressive debut project. I can only hope Clutch takes "Bluffin" into consideration before reacting to my criticism.
Gold Cosmos (Production SNAPS)
Bluffin (Insightful assessment of SC politics)
Bamboo (Raw, honest subject matter)