Review: "solve" by Pro Zay

On the hit show “The X-Files” Special Agent Fox Mulder has a quote ”…anything that cannot be programmed, categorized or easily referenced.”  Enter Pro Zay’s “solve”.  Is it “Trip-Hop” in the tradition of Massive Attack or Portishead?  Pro Zay hails from Texas so I thought it may be new school chopped and screwed or perhaps backpacker chopped and screwed?  Pro Zay’s style sounds like A$AP Rocky and Earl Sweatshirt had a baby, and raised it on edibles until its age of emancipation.  But in a great way.  

The alarm like title track “Solved” starts out with a screwed sample of Nas’s "Memory Lane". The emcee like a psychologist on mushrooms asks you questions that you know you ain’t got the answer to. “Balance” is an exercise in trippy screwed vocals with Pro Zay rhyming about choices in life, and how they help or hinder you.  If there is such a thing as a suicide prayer it’s the creative interlude “Carry”.  On the song “Mantra” Pro Zay floats over the track chanting about money and marijuana like an African Medicine Man.  The track ends with a piano rift that sounds like it belongs in a scene of a Quentin Tarantino movie before the gratuitous violence.  

Just when Pro Zay hypnotizes you with this dreamscape of a project; he snaps his fingers, and presents the bouncy Bryson Tiller sampled track “Dopamine”.  Then he drags you back down to purgatory with the dark stringed 808 pounding “Two Step.” Whoever Por Vida is… the production is on point.  

Let me be honest on the strength of this project, I wouldn’t take Pro Zay on the freestyle battle rap circuit. Quite frankly he’s not that type of emcee, and he doesn’t need to be.  His abstract lyrics, voice inflection, and brutally honest, and introspective subject matter makes him just as compelling.  Sonically, “Evolve” is like a blunt and a bubble bath. It’s oddly relaxing, surreal, cathartic, and a little weird, but worth it.        

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