Album Review - 93Punx

Someone said, Vic Mensa is really talented if he can get out of his own head long enough to make great music. Another person once Vic Mensa The Anti-Prince. Well Prince had The Revolution, and Vic has 93Punx. Together, along with a few features they put together the self titled debut album  93Punx. I'll be honest, I didn't know what to expect going in. Nobody said anything at all when the album dropped. Eventually Luke James, not the singer, just hated the album. Still, I decided to give a listen.

First thing, right off the back, this is not a punk band. It was billed as a punk band, and they do have some punk moments, but I wouldn't call it a punk band. They give a lot of love to Bad Brains on the album, but for the most part they're not going to sound anything like Bad Brains. I wouldn't even try to put them into a genre of rock music, or any genre really. There's some harmonizing, some rapping, plenty of rock. There's a lot going on and it comes together really well, for the most part.

The album does manage to hit a lot of different topics, but it does them well. It starts with "deffinition of a fuck-boi," which could be about anyone or Tekashi69 more likely, but it is certainly specific about suburban youth suddenly becoming gang members to gain fame in the music industry and ending up in bad predicaments. It really is a great song and kind of funny. Sidebar here, rappers and black people in general have been using the term "fuck boy" for a really long time. Eventually it made it's way into the LGBTQ+ community lexicon in the last year or so, and it is not used the same way all. In the context Vic and many other rappers use it, the term is simply a replacement for asshole, dumbass, piece of shit etc. I shouldn't have to explain that but apparently it has been considered a homophobic slur for some in the last few years. That's not the case here. "3 Years Sober," isn't a terrible song, but there are parts where you wonder what is going on. I'm proud of Vic for being sober. The song reminds me of of Eminem's Relapse album because there's moments of greatness such as the first verse:
I was  a dumbass drinking in a Volkswagen, I was a hero looking for the heroine, I wasn't lost, I was gone. I was an alcoholic loser gunning for the end and I know I played myself like an accordion, I wasn't lost, I was gone
But the second verse just falls apart. There's a few moments like that on the album, but not a lot. Not so many that you'll skip too much because it's a short album anyway. "Camp America," is one of the least punk rock tracks on the album, but I'll go ahead and say it is one of the best. The song sounds fun, up beat, summer rock in a teenage camp movie. Real American Pie type music, but the lyrics. The lyrics are all about the concentration camps that America currently has set up along the border. You're singing along before you realize you're singing things like:
We'll be living it up, not giving a fuck. Splitting you up, then we put you in cuffs, then we're shipping you off, year you can get lost at Camp America. Take your clothes off baby, let me see what you got. We can have a good time, if you're legal or not. It's an ignorant, arrogant, terrorist heritage. You can finally be an American
No, Vic isn't advocating for the sex with underage girls who are being held at concentration camps. However, that is an epidemic currently plaguing the camps that America has set up. I always enjoy catchy songs with lyrics about horrible things. It forces you to think about them every time you play the song.

"It's a bad dream," is probably my favorite track on the album. It features Good Charlotte, a legendary band from the Tony Hawk era when everyone wanted to be skaters, myself included. This song is pretty dark. It just deals with the ins and outs of life driving you crazy sometimes. Metal illness, childhood trauma, adult failure, everything is in there. It's more of a Good Charlotte song with Vic Mensa as lead singer, and I'd actually like more of that.

"Fistfight!" is an oddly assembled song but it does feature some hilarious moments. I just don't get the ending to the song. It does have an incredibly funny verse from LOKO Wit Tha Mask. "I Cry 2," is Vic informing the world that everyone is sad and afraid sometimes. "Persephone," doesn't have anything super noteworthy but it is a much slower speed than the rest of the album. "Numb," is a short track about realizing you may have an addiction problem when the drugs just stop working."F.I.N.E." is the most hip hop track on the album, Vic goes back and forth with himself. Feeling he's hurt himself more than anyone else ever could. The stamp on this one is he concludes that he might be a bad person, and he needs to accept it. This is a callback to "it's a bad dream," where it repeatedly includes the lyrics "I'm giving up on trying to find the better part of me."

The legendary Tom Morello is featured on "United States of Evil." This is a very simple, high energy song and is the most punk rock of everything else. Through heavy drums, screaming guitars and distorted vocals Vic repeatedly yells out "Let that bitch burn, burn the White House down." There's nothing more. That's classic Rage Against The Machine right there.

"I CRY 3," is more a reprise to the earlier track but "Goodbye 2 Heartbreak," is the final track on the album. It's a mellow track as Vic says goodbye to a love that shriveled. Then he gives us a list of "good riddances," that he'd like to be done with. The list includes but is not limited to: fear, addiction, violence, racism, suicide, lies, resentment, shame rape, guilt, cancer, SoundCloud, crack rock, anger and many more. It's a good close to the album that has touched on every thing listed at some point.

Is 93Punx a rock band, for sure. I don't know if they're punk rock but they do punk rock. I've kind of given up on placing anything in genres anyway so it doesn't matter. They're a good mixture of Blink-182, Rage Against The Machine and Good Charlotte which makes sense. Members from all three of those bands had a hand in crafting the album and there are moments when that really shines through. This is not going to be for some people, won't be for a lot of people. Just know it is more Ice-T and Bodycount than it is Lil Wayne and Rebirth. If you come in with an open mind, you'll enjoy it.

You can check out some of my fiction at 12 AM Fiction or follow my web serial Exsanguinate and of course hear me on the Powerbomb Jutsu podcast.
Album Review - 93Punx Album Review - 93Punx Reviewed by Darrell S. on Tuesday, October 15, 2019 Rating: 5

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