Femdot Fathers an Unprecedented Masterpiece with 94 Camry Music
Evan Dale // Oct 1, 2019
Chicago wordsmith, Femdot is on a roll. Endlessly prolific since the release of last year’s Delacreme 2 which came to fruition right as he graduated college, he released eight singles this year alone before another project came to light. 94 Camry Music – which was spearheaded by a titular leading single – surprised his constantly-expanding fanbase as it graced the hip-hop community just a week ago. And per Femdot and his effortless ability to always evolve his creative palate, 94 Camry Music also surprises in its textural makeup.
Though always existing within the signature confines of his one-of-a-kind delivery and cadence and his affinity for simple but energetic beats, 94 Camry Music still manages to distance itself from the hype and the circumstance of Delecreme 2. Threaded by an underlying storyline knotted in the symbolism of the still grinding rapper’s ride, 94 Camry Music opens, closes, and is constantly inundated with musical ties to his 1994 Toyota. And through the thematic lane, Femdot’s album draws a subtle line and owns a similar upward spiral tale to Kendrick’s Good Kid m.A.A.d. City.
But aside from being a gifted lyricist and an immersive coming-of-age storyteller, that’s where the similarities end – not because Femdot isn’t deserving, but because at this point in his established yet young career, he deserves his own descriptions. The young Chicago rapper is unendingly unique in his artistic explorations, and 94 Camry Music though just an EP, is the most refined version of his auditory aesthetic to date.
It opens with a skit turned hard-hitting monologue sort of introduction that dives into Femdot’s utilization of the hood of his car as a therapist’s couch for the people in his life and perhaps a mirror for himself. As he drops bar after bar – question after telling question aimed at uncovering the truth behind a person’s outer shell, he sets the stage for what comes to be a proper Sunday drive around the Chi while he speaks his mind.
The album’s leading single and titular track is a proper start to the album’s musical direction, riding a layered beat to an impossibly catchy chorus. But like usual, Femdot shines brightest in verse. His penmanship has never been in question but through the entirety of 94 Camry Music, in part thanks to the mastery of his one-of-a-kind cadence, his writing ability falls short of no one else in hip-hop. By the time the tracks tertiary song, Hot Lunch comes on, the entanglement of his car and the music is overarching. Built on a beat sampled from the blinker click of his ride, Femdot goes on the most relentless lyrical bout of the project – brutal in its vibrant pace and immersive in its descriptions of a young life spent growing up in Chicago. It’s three-and-a-half minutes of conscious exhibition and pure mastery unparalleled by few in music.
One of those few is St. Louis – Chicago flow architecture, Smino who joins Femdot on 94 Camry Music’s standout banger, Rap City. From a city known above any other for its conscious rap direction, it would be remarkable to say that these two stand as Chicago’s futurist lyrical pillars. But 94 Camry Music is a remarkable project, and Rap City is a remarkable hit that proves no other Chicago-based rapper is doing more to be creatively reinventive of the city’s soundscape while holding true to the meaningfulness that has long made Chicago one of lyricism’s most important hubs.
Weaving in and out of intensive songwriting, effortless cadence, tales of a come-up that detail the experiences of a Chicago rapper, and a constant tethering of his car’s paralleled symbolism to his own story, the remainder of 94 Camry Music continues Femdot’s impeccable pace and direction.
It may not even technically be an album, but 94 Camry Music is painstakingly crafted as an immersive, bold, and inventive piece of collected art that most hip-hop projects fall short of being. From start to finish, it binds to a storyline that drives its underlying emotionality and experience in a way matched only by projects like Good Kid m.A.A.d. City or Kota the Friend’s 2019 masterpiece, FOTO. From beginning to end, it wraps a listener in a sonic texture entirely Femdot’s own built on a quirky cadence and delivery that, in an era where uniqueness is held at a higher regard than just about anything else, makes him the same kind of underrated weapon that Smino was a couple years ago. And yet, even through the unavoidable individuality of his artistic expression, Femdot sacrifices nothing in quality when it comes to songwriting ability and production, emerging with a masterpiece as the best version of himself, still very much primed for grandeur and grander things.