Made it past the threshold, guess this the part when it gets hard…
Those are the first words that reverberate through your earphones as Detroit rapper, Phil Swish, introduces you to his first project, WOVE: Trials and Tribulations EP. Even though the phrase comes with a playful chortle at the end, this project is no joke. From the opening track, Longevity, he fires off in rapid succession his prowess on the mic and in that moment it is made quite clear where his mirth is coming from: he is going to run marathons around your favorite rapper. Moreover, he’s going to have fun with it.
Trials and Tribulations chronicles his life in Detroit, getting to the point where he is right now. A tale that has been retread in hip-hop so many times that it has become a trope at this point. Though, that is the magic that is Trials, not only does it tell a tale of his everyday life but serves the secondary objective of highlighting his versatility. In a hip-hop climate that has clung on to the catchiest flow, Phil Swish goes from flow to flow depending on the subject matter as well as what soul beat he is on. At one point, he gives you a very west coast, G-Funk Kurupt feel and at the next, he brings you back to when the Soulquarians ruled the airwaves. This flexibility keeps you enthralled as Swish world builds around you and challenges you to skip any of the five tracks that he gives you in this EP. A daring approach has high risks but just as high rewards.
Overall, Trials and Tribulations is one part an introduction, one part storytelling over soulful beats but mainly an exercise in an art that has been making a comeback, versatility. Dive into his world, check for yourself, and if you are feeling the Detroit native, download his Trials and Tribulations EP, and be on the lookout for his Black Wool album due out soon.