Faded Flex has been on my radar since his “Johns Hopkins” visuals. The reason why he got my attention is simple. It’s that the “Hopkins” song and visuals embraced and satirized the “DMV Flow” and “Baltimore Flow” while creating engaging, gritty music. In other words, through his satire, he makes music that’s thought-provoking while still being a bop, at least to me. On his full-length project, Bird City, Flex continues this sort of wave. In doing so, he also manages to diversify his flows and bars to create an engaging project about the state of Baltimore and the DMV, both musically and socially.
In some ways, the whole thing is like if ASAP Ferg met Chris Cassius and decided to team up for a bit.
I think that, sometimes, the best way to make a point is to embrace the youth instead of rebelling against them. That’s what we get here. From “Hopkins” to “Hooters,” Flex makes music that’s equally fun/funny and deathly serious about its subject matter. It doesn’t hurt that the production is menacing but still mainstream-friendly, gritty but still polished. Besides, anyone who can get Young Moose on a track one song then rap about how police takedowns are overly aggressive and racially motivated the next? Yeah, you know that you’re in for a helluva project. I also like that the project isn’t overly long. Instead, the album can be finished in about a half-hour. So it comes, it makes its point, then leaves.
If you want some Baltimore-area rap that sounds at home with more mainstream vibes, but still has the grit of an underground artist, check this project out and support dope music in all its forms.