REVIEW: Vision The Kid & Tru – ‘Somewhere In A Dark City’

vision the kid

Artist: Vision The Kid & Tru
Album: Somewhere In A Dark City
Genre: Hip-Hop

Minneapolis tag-team, rapper Vision The Kid and producer Tru, joined forces roughly two years ago to combine their talents and create the best material that their capabilities would allow. The result is this year’s Somewhere In A Dark City, a 14-track hip-hop album that swings for the seats with impressive form — (excuse the baseball metaphor; I’ve been enveloped in the postseason/Fall Classic). Akin to the works of Macklemore and the lesser known and under-appreciated Common Market, Vision The Kid uses Tru’s excellent production as a foundation in which to layer his ostensibly veteran flows. Bar after bar, Vision delivers, but his writing and Tru’s music shine in unison throughout the effort, with both stealing the show in equal measure.

Somewhere In A Dark City opens with a spoken word from Vision The Kid that sets up the narrative of the album, ending with the lines, “the b-boys are dancing / the train cars are scratching / the asphalt is alive / if you’re quiet enough you can hear it / for the city is singing all of the time.” “Love Past Midnight” comes in hard after the album’s intro as an absolute banger reminiscent of the great P.O.S. You’re immediately set on course for a hell of a ride within this dark city with a track that will undoubtedly be one of many that aids in Vision’s rise.

While some tracks (e.g. “None Of Y’all,” “Roll Call”) feature lyrics that explore the tired hip-hop themes of money, women, drinking, drugs and being superior to one’s peers, they still have catchy hooks and are memorable within the scope of the album, and even the genre itself. Regardless of occasional faltering originality, the delivery is solid and the production, again, is top-notch. But that’s not all the album is about. There’s depth, and lots of it. Vision gets personal at times and it makes the album feel more intimate and ofttimes visceral, especially when paired with choruses like the one in the title track from Ben Burwell. Vision The Kid recently told us a bit about what he touches on in the album: “Things like long distance relationships, struggles with substance abuse, growing up a white kid in a black community, skateboarding, petty theft; things that resonated to me on multiple levels were the things I left in.” These are all present and the album is all the better for having those personal elements on display.

With at least nine guests featured on the album, you know you’re going to get a great variety, and you do. Between both male and female vocals and the great diversity in Tru’s production, the album has a lot to offer and keeps things interesting throughout. Still, with so much going on, Somewhere In A Dark City manages to feel entirely cohesive, which could be due in part to its structure, containing an intro, interlude and outro all made up of Vision’s spoken word as he explains the city from his own perspective.

“If the city forgets us, what have we left? Nothing but beer bottles and asphalt between toes, omens of grass to grow. Cement playgrounds and street lights, cheap wine halos. Oil-slick rainbows and dirty snow angels, back alleys at odds with angles. And the city is breathing a sigh of relief tonight.”

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by Brian Lion — (Follow him on Twitter)

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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