The Rickety Old Shack

Ski Mask The Slump God — Beware The Book Of Eli

album cover

As the popularity of trap music continues to usher forth waves of new stars and generic clones, Ski Mask The Slump God has been on my radar for a little over a year. While he has yet to release a full-length album, Ski Mask has dropped a couple of mixtapes, finally gaining some traction with the You Will Regret mixtape in 2017. That tape was re-eleased this year, with additional tracks, and now we've got the follow-up, Beware The Book Of Eli serving up another 20 minutes of material. I've been intrigued by Ski Mask's unique mix of mumbly non sequitur and lightning-fast flows since discovering him, and keep waiting for a true breakout performance from him.

Beware The Book Of Eli does not appear to be such a performance, though it's a decent collection of new music — more-than enough to keep Ski Mask The Slump God's name in circulation. A bevy of producers turn in a fairly coherent assemblage of trap beats, though the production seems rough and uneven from track-to-track. The beats are competent, with the requisite amount of thudding bass and rattling hi-hats, but hardly innovative. To his credit, Ski Mask's charisma as an MC shines through and elevates the material above the classification of merely generic. There's still a lot of "yuh" being used more as a percussive beat than a lyric, but ignoring that there are still a lot of unique verses in comparison to artists like Lil Pump.

What Beware The Book Of Eli needed was another single like "Catch Me Outside," to put it over the top. Absent that, it's still very good, and showcases the growing aptitude of a unique artist within the narrow genre of trap music. I really enjoy Ski Mask's irreverence, and there are some genuinely funny moments scattered throughout this mixtape. The track "Coolest Monkey In the Jungle" manages to string together a series of back-and-forth verses from Ski Mask and SahBabii that hinges on the "giggity giggity" catchphrase of Quagmire, from The Family Guy. Just writing that out nauseates me, but the track works very well — I'm still stunned by this fact. The guest appearances help to break up any truly monotonous repetition on the album, as Ski Mask's flows do have some variance to them, but certain cadences tend to get overused even in the context of a brief, 20-minute set.

The main takeaway from Beware The Book Of Eli is potential; I'm still looking forward to the next release from Ski Mask The Slump God. The trap genre is rife with sedate-sounding, down-tempo mumblers, which makes artists like Ski Mask both a breath of fresh air and a necessity if the genre is to remain relevant. Overall, this is a very good project, and I have no deep criticisms to levy upon it. Beware The Book Of Eli is certainly worth a listen, I just think Ski Mask needs to keep honing his craft and a true breakout release is yet to come. These are fun songs, but there's no smash hit here.

Summary

A solid collection of new material from an up-and-coming SoundCloud rapper. Ski Mask The Slump God turns in 10 tracks, with a total running time of 20 minutes, of catchy, irreverent trap music. Beware The Book Of Eli hints at a bright future for Ski Mask as an artist, though fails to deliver a smash hit that will catapult him into the mainstream. Still, for what it is — a competent sub-half-hour of music — it's still very fun to listen to. For a young artist, this feels like a logical progression from his previous work. My criticisms of this project largely stem from the fact that I see significant potential in Ski Mask, it just hasn't been realised yet.

Album Information

Release date: May 11th, 2018
Record label: Republic Records

Ski Mask The Slump God — vocals
Rich The Kid — additional vocals (tracks 1, 10)
Ronny J — additional vocals (track 3)
SahBabii — additional vocals (track 4)
Danny Towers — additional vocals (track 7)
Natra Average — production (tracks 1, 5, 7, 9)
Timbaland — production (track 2)
Kashaka — production (track 3)
Wallis — production (track 4)
CuBeatz — production (track 4)
Murda Beatz — production (track 4)
FH3 Beats — production (track 6)
Jimmy Duval — production (tracks 8, 10)
Arnoldisdead — production (track 8)

Track Listing

  1. Lost Souls
  2. Run
  3. Throwaway
  4. Coolest Monkey In The Jungle
  5. Suicide Season
  6. DoIHaveTheSause
  7. Geekin'
  8. Child's Play
  9. Dapper Dan
  10. Bukkake

—by Derek

Published: May 19th, 2018.