Starstatic: Metal Chocolates

Joe Gustav / August 12, 2011
Image via Metal Chocolates

View the video for Metal Chocolates – “Car Chase” at¬†Starstatic.

In Metal Chocolates‘ brand new video for “Car Chase,” what seems like a seedy drug transaction becomes something a bit more innocent but no less calamitous: the rip-and-run of magic gold coins. In a chase that would be called high-speed if not for rattling stop-and-start slow motion cuts, the thieves celebrate their heist while still very much in danger, the coins beginning to glow as much as their new owners when blissful, oblivious joy shines through amidst an otherwise sullied moment.

The realities presented in Metal Chocolates’ self-titled debut are an at-times sweet perception of urban decay. The bandits in question are ethereally-inclined producer OC Notes and rapper Rik Rude, best known for his work with Fresh Espresso, who combine to take a trip where the city’s supposed ills are not seen through the lenses of good and evil: they just are, and as a part of this blessed existence that is life, have their own inherent lights to be found.

In a recent NPR interview with Ann Powers and Andrew Matson the duo discussed the inspiration for the project, citing Pioneer Square (which is referenced frequently on the album) as setting and character in its own right. Notes and Rude have been collaborating for several years and Metal Chocolates continues the themes and sounds begun in the 30-minute freestyle Dope Fiend Jazz: the anxieties of the impoverished and addicted, as seen from first- and third-person perspectives, but also the love fostered by familiarity within a community. “Chocolate Grills for Cavities” may suggest exacerbating an issue of deterioration, but it also may be a call for making the best of life and seeing it fully, forgetting neither the outer sweetness nor its relation to something wrong inside.

Metal Chocolates’ messages are decidedly hazy, a swirling perspective of “I see kingdoms” on “Afro Egypt” and “a green SUV on the run” on the frantic “Car Chase,” and the presentation is no less disorienting. It’s been called psychedelic-rap before, and it will not be able to shake the tag anytime soon — genre stylings are amorphous, jazz, house, soul, world music adding some influence to OC Notes’ original backdrops. Rude’s flow continues on a free-form bent, much more poetic than anything Fresh Espresso, imagery triumphing over accessibility.

Metal Chocolates give fresh perception to what the listener may feel they know already, but haven’t seen like this before. It does not stop with the music either: fans may still purchase a plain-old digital copy or splurge on the $30 Gift Box, with t-shirt, cassette tape, gold coin, and “extra special bonus goodies” creating a comprehensive package. The duo will continue to stretch and mold perspectives at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party and at October’s Reverb Fest. Until then, their April debut will continue to champion the artist’s eye, obscuring nothing, only seeking to see reality from previously unexplored angles.

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