Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin, “$mokebreak EP”

Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin
$mokebreak EP
LEX
7/10

Released toward the end of last year, FlySiifu’s, the debut album from Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin, served as the perfect introduction to the duo’s insular world. Based around a day in the life of two record store clerks, both rappers immediately clicked with one another, proving how pleasurable it is to hear them on the same track. Arriving less than six months later, the $mokebreak EP is immediately a more rewarding listen than its predecessor. No longer having to work inside the confines of a concept album, the duo’s more laid-back approach is a breath of fresh air, giving them just enough space to focus in on the spirit of collaboration that makes their music as solo artists so engaging.

On paper, Siifu and Anakin might seem like an odd pairing—both artists are breakout stars from their respective scenes, but their styles are drastically different. Pink Siifu is one of the most prolific emcees of recent years, defying expectations by switching genres at every twist and turn. Fly Anakin, on the other hand, is a bit more of a traditionalist. He may not veer out of his lane all that often, but there’s no denying his ability to fire out intricate verses without breaking a sweat. The main issue with FlySiifu’s was how unnecessary a handful of tracks on there felt, which makes sense considering it was their first time making an album together. After working out a couple of the kinks, the pair sounds more in sync than before, evident on the Black Noi$e–produced “Blame,” which also happens to be the only song on $mokebreak without a guest feature.

This newfound freedom has also resulted in their music having a much more refined sound. It’s obvious that both artists are inspired by the work of J Dilla (there’s even a skit on their debut where a customer calls in to order a copy of Welcome 2 Detroit) and their collaborations together feel like a love letter to the art of crate digging more than anything else. In that same spirit, both artists are bonded together by the excitement that comes from discovering new music, as well as the satisfaction that comes from searching through stacks of records, trying to find the perfect drum break to chop up. Songs like “L’s” and “Remote Relocation” are built off of steady loops that serve as the perfect framework for vocal aerobics, giving them the perfect opportunity to flex their talents on the mic.

The 10-track EP sports an impressive list of features—underground rap fixtures Chuck Strangers and MAVI both make appearances, as well as returning guests like Fousheé and B. Cool-Aid—with each artist stopping by for a quick verse before passing the mic to the next emcee like a never ending cypher. Occasionally, as on “Shawty” and the disappointing posse cut “Tha Divide,” the project feels aimless or inconsistent, but when things are firing on all cylinders you can’t help but marvel at the ways in which Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin are able to reign in their collaborators’ distinctive personalities into a singular and cohesive vision.

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