Divine Council, made up of producer/rapper ICYTWAT and rappers Linco, $ilkMoney, and Cyrax!, are in the transition from web celebrities to big names.  The group’s online presence has won them a feature from Andre 3000 (as well as fans in Erykah Badu and son Seven), a show at SXSW, and a deal at Epic Records.  On December 2nd, Council dropped Council World, a six-track project showcasing the hardest-hitting tracks in the group’s arsenal as, according to an interview at Noisey, an introduction to mainstream audiences.

Ringing bells and cymbals give P. Sherman, a reference to Finding Nemo, a light and bouncy feel, grounded and paced by familiar high-hats and booming bass.  The result is smooth yet lively.  $ilkMoney’s lyricism isn’t overly intricate, but it’s full of facets of his personality and daily life: his love of plus size women, his distaste for school, and his appreciation for animated entertainment from Finding Nemo to Regular Show.  $ilkMoney comes across as confident while remaining totally down-to-earth, tough but childishly funny in the way that so many of our generation (lik dys if ur a 90’s kid) are.

Favorite Bar: Young nigga tryna be the boss of the whole park like Benson

Lyrically, Can’t Afford Me is the most basic track on the album, but it’s still fun and vibey.  It takes a step down in tempo and bass from P. Sherman, bringing a sweeter, brighter feel that Cyrax’s voice and flow fit perfectly.  Can’t Afford Me has a standard message of bravado and arrogance that comically flips classic gender stereotypes on their heads.

Favorite Bar: But I can’t give no dick for free / Little shorty you can’t afford me

Rolie Polie Olie has a sound so tender it dips into cloud rap territory.  Lord Linco is careful to keep the beat’s mellow, switching between a crooning murmur and a soft yell, each harmonizing with even softer vocals for a hypnotically psychedelic effect.  It’s one of the longer tracks on the EP, but it’s just not long enough no matter how many times I replay it.

Favorite Bar: Nobody quite like me I’m curio / I got the psyche of ten-year-olds

The tone of Nevaland is a little colder and spookier, the ringing of the keys having a more eerie quality to them, all accented with breathy grunts and moans.  $ilkMoney shows that he’s the most nimble lyrically of the three, and his booming voice gives the track an impactful start and a strong chorus.  However, Linco and Cyrax are no slackers and both add copious amounts of harmony and charisma.  Nevaland is the first track of the EP where all members of the Council appear together, and their chemistry is manifest.

Favorite Bar: I can never love a ho, can never ever trust a ho / Late nights when I’m alone I fuck my dope

Dick in da Dope speaks to me on a deep, personal level.  The song speeds things up by quite a margin, and though it’s clearly meant as a humorous, sub-2 minute palette cleanser before the final track, it’s lyrically one of the most impressive so far.  $ilkMoney shows he has speed and can stack rhymes like the best of them while continuing to develop his erratic, impossible to dislike persona.

Favorite Bar: Cuz I rather smoke dope than give strokings / No pussy only book your face for the pokings

Decemba ends the EP on a high note, both for the track as a whole and for the Andre 3000 feature that precedes the ending choruses.  Decemba keeps things on the faster, and $ilkMoney impresses me once again by hanging lyrically with 3k(!), even snagging my favorite bar of the song WITH ANDRE 3000 ON THE TRACK (!!!).  Andre’s verse tells a story of eroticism with characteristically mind-bending, vivid imagery, starting off subdued but becoming continuously more intense.  It’s a fantastic track that caps the album off beautifully.

Favorite Bar: Put dick up in her like an enema / Fuck dat lil bitch like she my enemy

I don’t know if this was clear to you, but Council World really blew me away.  Clocking in at a sleek 18 minutes, I’d probably put it among my favorite trap projects, really among my favorite hip hop projects ever.  Linco, Cyrax!, and $ilkMoney are all skilled lyricists and overall likable individuals.  They have a sense of humor that feels present, personalities that feel like people I know.  ICYTWAT makes beats that aren’t tired or revivalist; they feel fresh.  Council World is dope as fuck, and Divine Council has a bright future ahead of them. Virginia is proud of them.

-Koby

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