Following an exceptional run of singles, Blvck Svm has delivered with vibrant new project mangalica mink. In a cohesive, seven cut canvas, Svm demonstrates his off-beat brand of stoic delivery, wavy vibes and heady wordplay. Ethereal, aromatic and crisp, the project reveals Blvck Svm at his best. Navigating tranquil beats with lyrics that feel pulled from the dreamscapes of an imaginative child or potent acid trip. Lulling listeners into a trance with relaxed delivery, only to snap them awake with an uncanny pairing of words.
Blvck Svm is special because he uses hip-hop as a vehicle for a different kind of poetry. Not the kind that is grounded in social change, or political reform, or glorifying luxury. His paeans come from that whimsical place in the back of our minds. Or in his words on mercurymorris, “imported from regions unknown”. Understated (to the point of not not capitalizing song titles on this project), Svm’s flash is his subtlety. And oftentimes, artists who stay in that space are the type who end up being most profound.
From the moody bassline and string build-up of tarragonbutter to the eerie, trap influenced vibes of pyrex, beat choice is superb throughout mangalica mink. As always, Svm favors instrumentals that bridge the gap between chill and hard, one could almost call them trap-lofi. The common theme is airy soundscapes and openness, vital for giving the lyricist ample room to smoothly maneuver.
Tracks 2 and 6, hyogo and mercurymorris served as the EP’s singles, and function as familiar pillars in what feels like a space odyssey. After several listens, tiffanycase and tarragonbutter are the two new tracks that draw us back again and again. The Austin Marc produced tiffanycase is such a warm and vibrant instrumental, and sees Svm at his very best, shining on a gorgeous hook, and executing delectable verses with ease. “Discount finger five of course/jet fuel in the 911 porsche/microphone feel like the base of a torch/finish a session every finger scorched.” The power in Svm’s lyrics is the rare way he views the world. The way he naturally meshes uncommon images or concepts together in a way that makes almost more sense than reality.
On top of his own superb performance, Svm employs the talents of several collaborations within the fabric of mangalica mink. Kith features a dope verse from Chicago/Def Jam rapper Valee and retinal scan sees Svm enlist the talents of Vancouver artist/producer Isaac Zale. The latter has collaborated in the past with artists such as Mick Jenkins, Kota the Friend, and Sylvan LaCue. While the features certainly add flavor to a project already rich with them, they never fully pull the spotlight away from one of the most promising talents the rap game has to offer.
And here’s the thing. Blvck Svm is only just scratching the surface. It is a safe bet that 2023 will be a monumental year for the upcoming Chicago/South Florida artist.