Favorite Track: "Bad Boys 3" Least Favorite Track: "Girl With The Gold Wrist"
Up until Injury Reserve’s 2016 project Floss, their music lacked direction and substance. The Arizona rap outfit’s sound tended to seem confused. Their quirky production style and peculiar flows on their debut project ; Live From The Dentist Office, struggled to stay consistent throughout the record which culminated in a mix bag of styles that didn’t really work well together. However their 2016 project; Floss worked out these kinks mostly successfully. This record brings even brighter production than before, mostly enjoyable flows and bars and some obvious influence from gigantic acts such as A Tribe Called Quest and even Kayne West. For example the confrontational and inspirational tone taken on the records second track “Bad Boys 3” sounds almost like a dead ringer for the energy off of Kayne’s “POWER”. Specifically the intro of the track has this marching quality to it that is quite obviously Kayne esc. Before that, the intro track “Oh Shit!!!” has more character than anything off Live From The Dentist Office. I love the jazzy production style on the cut, and the roaring hook from Ritchie with a T. His flow when he jumps into his verse with “this ain’t jazz rap this that, this that spazz rap” is so damn catchy, and is only the beginning of the long list of quotables in this verse from Ritchie with a T. After just these first two tracks it’s very clear that Injury Reserve was much more focused on this project than anything they had released up until this point. The direction is clearer and just all around better on Floss. The first half of the track list flows pretty smoothly and doesn’t really slow down, “All This Money” “S on Ya Chest” and “What’s Goodie” are all fun, enjoyable and well performed tracks but as we move into the second half of the project we do get some duds in the track listing. “Girl With The Gold Wrist” is one of the more annoying tracks on Floss. The delayed chords in the background don’t really go with the distorted and eerie production at all. On top of this, Stepa J. Grog’s and Ritchie’s flows on the track just seem clunky. One of my bigger complaints about this record has to do with some of the more clunky flows that we get from both Ritchie and Grogs. There are a few moments on Floss where they are quite obviously trying to force a line somewhere where it sonically just doesn’t fit or they are attempting to get far too many syllables in a bar that once again doesn’t sonically fit into the sequence in which they are trying to fit it in. Another notable track is the trios attempt at a ballad in “Keep On Slippin” (feat. Vic Mensa). The song features some confession type lyrics where Groggs, Ritchie, and Vic Mensa take turns venting about what causes each of them individually to “keep on slippin”. It culminates to a pretty powerful and well performed track. Floss has some duds but all together I think it is Injury Reserve’s most complete project in terms of consistency. Groggs, Ritchie, and Parker Corey have been flying fairly under the radar for the past couple of years, but don’t be surprised if this Arizona rap trio catapults themselves into the mainstream in the very near future.