Perfecto, a new member of Tumi’s Motif Records, has released a very unique mixtape with fresh content and subject matter that hasn’t been heard in SA hip-hop to date. Even the Rorschach inkblot (used to test people with potential mental disorders) that is used as his mixtape cover doesn’t prepare one for the unhinged yet hyper lyrical complex flow that follows.
The intro is a skit of a female clinical psychologist having a conversation with Perfecto who seems to have checked into a mental institute.
As she tries to figure out what’s wrong with him, the mixtape journey explores the thoughts of a slightly schizophrenic character that got his hands on a mic and spits venomous bars. In-between songs, he has skits where the psychologist asks him questions, and the song that follows is his reply. In essence, this mixtape could be construed as a therapy session and we as the listeners are merely flies on the wall.
Perfecto paints himself as a murderous demi-god, illegal arms-smuggling kung fu fighter and his lyrical complexity and animated vocal style goes hand-in-hand with his many characters. His voice and rhyme patterns are constantly changing yet unvaryingly aggressive making him sound like a raving lunatic you can’t help but listen to. His macabre imagination and thorough story-telling skill is most highlighted in the songs “Lost in Literature”, where he talks about an immortal man who lets him live in a mansion that has mirrors that don’t reflect – only to find out that he’s actually in a mad house. In “Let the Beat Burn” he talks about being abducted and being operated on, and drinking unlabeled chemicals. His ability to jump from topics like a ten-year-old kid with ADHD yet still remain coherent is impressive.
Perfecto goes hard in “Where have you been” with lines like “My flow glides like a teradactyl, ya’ll suck, you’re the reason why rap is in a vacuum” and “verses written by Jehovah’s hand, I’m so unholy but the Pope is a fan” show off his lyrical dexterity. With references to philosophers Nietzche and Plato, and further references to ancient Greek mythology and ancient Roman characters like Julius Caesar, Perfecto spews out well-read and informed craziness which gives the mixtape an intelligent yet coarse profundity.
“Impressed” is a love song, and I can’t help but feel that it sounds out of place in this dark and crude mixtape. “Life’s a B*tch” and “Crazy” are too short to even remember once they’ve played; in general the mixtape was too short. The production though was of high quality for a mixtape and very diverse with grunge-influenced jazz beats to boom bap beats and beautifully haunting samples.
With lyrics like “I eat out of garbage cans of old abortion clinics” and “if you Jewish, I’mma gas you”, this mixtape is not for the faint of heart. If you only prefer your typical subject matter of girls, money, drugs and hustling, this mixtape isn’t for you. If you find insane lyrics that stretch your mind interesting, then “Meet Perfecto” is perfect for your playlist.
Perfecto says he “takes too long in the mirror” – let’s hope he doesn’t take too long with his album.
Written by: Nomusa Mthethwa (@NomusaMT)