Published Oct 21, 2016On his solo sophomore effort, Toronto-based MC Flex the Antihero manages to do two things pretty effectively.
The first is rap his ass off. Flex the Antihero may not be from Houston, but he does rap a lot. Double time flows and slippery slow-fast-slow deliveries abound. While too many rappers take trap-ish beats as an excuse to slack on lyricism, Flex uses them as a playground, a springboard to launch multiple forms of lyrical attack. On "One Night" and "Pray," Flex pushes the envelope on how many syllables one can comfortably fit into a bar. At the same time though, it doesn't feel like a stunt. He's not Twista, rapping fast just to do it — he just has a lot of things to say and only four minutes in which to say them.
Which leads us to the other thing Flex excels at on Born Rebels: unvarnished emotional honesty. This is an album about pain and depression and personal demons. With every bar, Flex pulls out a little more of his own viscera and drops it in front of you. He makes you feel what he's feeling. He draws you into his world, dark and brilliant as it is. (Smashmouth)