SALEM is honest & fearlessFlex, along with Sha Prince are collectively known as The Antiheroes, and while his partner in crime received praise on his 2013 release of Latex and perfume’, we’ve been anxiously awaiting on Flex and his next move. Rejoice – I was privileged to have an early listen to Flex’s new project entitled ‘SALEM’ that I can only sum up as an honest and fearless portrayal of man in deep thought, reminiscing and reflecting while attempting to solidify his inner-peace and understand his purpose. The 12 track project executive produced by Emerson Brooks, illustrates what I felt during my first listen, a glimpse inside the knapsack of a boy overfilling with papers, napkins and any other materials that rhymes and hooks could be written or scribbled on, that would one day manifest into what we now know as ’SALEM’.

“I’ll ask you to pardon me a part of me died, so its hard to see the brighter side and keep it alive” 

Therapeutic to say the least. As momentum continues to grow for the entireSmashMouth conglomerate, Flex does his best to help raise their flag a little bit higher while his label mates offer up some assistance throughout the project. As usual, each bring their own sense of style and creativity that adds greater depth and layers to the final product. One thing that Flex shows throughout that some artists may shy away from is truth, vulnerability and admittance of a constant struggle within himself that ties the listener in even more. If you ever wondered what‘SALEM’ would look like, Flex’s latest visuals for the Allan Rayman assisted single, “The Wicked”, is an excellent depiction of the project’s overall sound. While each track offers something different to listeners, Flex never steers too far from the conceptual point of his thoughts crafted for the projects overall tone. As Relatable and personal as ’SALEM’ is, the only thing I would like to see more from Flex in the future, is him stepping outside of his comfort zone and experimenting with different flows and melodies since his lyrical ability is something some could only hope to possess at this point in there career. All in all this is another notch under the belt for Flex and SmashMouth as they continue to showcase diversity, content quality and style while sticking to the fundamental roots of hip-hop without limitation, boundaries or submitting to creative restraint.

R Picks: ‘The Wicked’ & ‘Violet’ 

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