Heavily influenced by producers such as Quincy Jones, LA Reid, Just Blaze, and others, SC began producing in 2005, and later decided to further advance his craft. His debut project “Shock Combat”, which contained 15 tracks, was released on August 25, 2019. “Being able to produce your project creates an intimate experience,” says SC. “When I get to create the sound and navigate the feeling of the project, I hold it close to my heart.” 2020 sees SC drop the “Shock Combat HD” project, which packs a whopping 21 tracks. This is one of those rare moments in Hip-hop, where you listen to an artist and tell yourself, this is what I’ve been waiting for. This is the type of music I’ve been wanting. And the crazy thing is, it is only mixtape.
A big factor for that is that SC released “Shock Combat HD” independently. Having full control for an artist, makes it possible to be uncompromising. Of course this can be bad, if the artist is overindulgent, or, in the case of SC, good, is the artist is disciplined and focused on his core ideals, both lyrically and musically.
Twenty-one tracks could mean plenty space for filler, or plenty room to shine. SC aims for the latter. He delivers a work that is laser focused, and is able to maintain a central theme around his personal experiences. And not in an arrogant or delusional sense of worth either. From a production standpoint, he does a flawless job of balancing contemporary rap and funk, soul, and other southern moods.
The thing that SC does so well on this recording, is that he doesn’t overwhelm. Gradually he eases the pedal on the production until he’s in cruise control. You go from the intense rhymes on “Dis”, to the bass slaps of “Higher”, and the twisty synths on “Sup”, to the smooth and funky “The Hit” (John Wick) and the slamming new jack grooves on “Crush” (Rick Cool Mix). This variegated progression helps keep the album feeling fresh and makes the transition into each subsequent track smoother and more exciting.
SC can trade in harder raps, like on “Everythings A Go”, or he can slow it down, as on the introspective “My Heart” (The After School Special). SC’s gift is digging an extra layer deeper with his music and providing a calming epiphany.
Yet unlike most recordings of this magnitude, “Shock Combat HD” hardly ever drags, and “Lets Get It On” quickly proves my point, as SC switches up the energy. “Get Away” keeps the momentum going with dynamic percussion. “Cash Rules” is ready-made to rattle your vehicle as you cruise down the street, while “Love Me” again showcases SC’s introspective side.
But plenty is still to follow, as block-rocking instrumentals and pungent punchlines keep blasting through tracks like, “Jam” (Rick Cool Mix), “The Vibe”, “Shut Us Down” and “Smirk”. In between, SC finds time for soulful vibes on “Cowboy Freestyle”, and “Every Little Thing” (Soul Sonic Mix), as well as some eclectic freestyling on “Wrong Things 1” (Gator Freestyle).
Its enthralling stuff on any sonic level, and SC keeps up lyrically, his flow more than malleable enough to fit with any groove he is presented by on this mixtape. There are plenty of other highlights to be raved about in “Shock Combat HD’s” massive track-list.
There is so much to dissect throughout this recording that interpreting it with a few terse paragraphs is doing it a disservice. Pick up this mixtape and immerse yourself not only in its impressive breadth, but also its practically unparalleled depth. There’s so much Southern Hip-hop goodness to take in all over “Shock Combat HD”.
OFFICIAL LINKS: Twitter – @SC4Real / IG – @SC4Real / Snapchat – @SC4Real