An alarm sounds in the background, and bullets whiz past. “The holiest feast awaits God’s creatures…” raps Wilfrid in the opening moments of Belly of the Beast. In the following bars, he expounds in fearless fashion on the state of the world through his eyes, touching on everything from religion, to Brock Turner, to the traps of our materialistic culture. In one cleverly crafted couplet, he offers a biblical allegory, rapping, “..But If I stand behind him, I would probably deny him, like I’m Peter or Simon, being silent”
On Wilfrid’s cohesive eight-track collection, Second Nature, musical moments like these aren’t rare. Rather, each of the tracks is a lively intersection of an intricately produced beat, talented writing and story telling, and expert level mixing.
On La Douleur Exquise, a quick and simple beat is brought to life with witty one-liners and trance like audio effects. Scars is another high point of the album, offering a house music beat and more cunning lyrics. Though at first listen these tracks might not sound like they touch on dark topics, Wilfred muses on issues such as sexual assault and self-harm in his verses.
The Hook Up is a catchy track that elevates the project and finishes it off on a high note. The construction of The Hook Up creates a track that makes the listener want to keep coming back.
Behind the rap persona of Wilfrid is an intelligent Stanford undergrad named Mario Chris. Relying on a Blue Yeti microphone, a Helm synthesizer, and typical mixing equipment, Chris takes us into his chamber of reflection for a look at some of his deepest convictions. Chris plays the majority of the instruments on the tracks including the violin and the piano. One of the drum samples used in a base line is actually Chris’ mother cooking in her kitchen. Other base lines reportedly took Chris hours to get right. However, the product of the creativity has been a well crafted EP.
Chris is an example of a rapper with the talent to make a real showing in the game. Coupled with strong personal branding and the backing of a record label at his school, Chris is poised to elevate his game and spread his art.
Give Second Nature a listen. You will not be disappointed.