On BEWARE THE BOOK OF ELI, Ski Mask the Slump God continues to deliver erratic flows and lyrics, but is held back by lackluster beats and features.
Ski Mask the Slump began his career among the muck of South Florida Soundcloud rappers with XXXtentacion as his core partner. As time went on it was clear that Ski Mask the Slump God was not your typical Soundcloud rapper. He consistently delivered crazy and innovative flows and lyrics over very unique and experimental beats. He released his first official project, You Will Regret, in 2017 and continued his path to stardom. On this tape were Ski’s two breakout songs, “Catch Me Outside and “Babywipe”. Ski Mask quickly became a prominent figure in both the Soundcloud sphere and the critical sphere. With his momentum building Ski announced his upcoming album BEWARE THE BOOK OF ELI, but things did not go as planned. His management delayed and removed songs from the album, causing Ski to fire them. With fans waiting for month it was unclear whether Ski Mask would deliver a solid project or not. In short, he did not.
BEWARE THE BOOK OF ELI felt completely out of Ski’s own hands. From beat selection to features the decision-making on this album is mind-boggling. Outside a handful of tracks the production on this project was incredibly slow-paced, bland, and boring. For instance, “SUICIDESEASON” is one of the worst tracks Ski has ever made. The beat is incredibly atmospheric with a lifeless vocal sample in the background. To make things worse, Ski definitely phoned his verse in with a terrible hook and almost no energy on the entire track. It felt like he was struggling to stay awake throughout.
Or “DoIHaveTheSauce?”, the lead single for the album. On this track Ski raps over an incredibly generic trap beat that sounds like was meant for someone like 21 Savage. Ski tries to save the track with his eccentric flow, but fails to hold the listener’s attention with his laid back hook.
The track “THROWAWAY” should literally have been a throwaway track. Ski raps over a skeletal beat that lacks any semblance of flavor. The track features Ronny J, but for some reason is not produced by him. Which makes absolutely no sense, considering Ronny J’s production could have added a much-needed presence to the song. And Ronny J’s feature is horrendous as well. He delivers every single Soundcloud rap cliché without an original sound and further proves himself to be far more valuable as a producer than a rapper.
Which brings me to my next gripe: the features. Across the board the features on Beware of the Book of Eli ruin their respective songs. Most notably, “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE”, featuring SahBabii. The song has a wild almost disturbing beat enlisting an out of tune flute as the core melody. This goes over extremely well as Ski comes through with his amazingly erratic flow and hilarious lyrics including this gem: “Fly like a fairy like my name Juandisimo.” But unfortunately SahBabii ruins the track with his incredibly sleepy verse and uninspired cringe worthy lyrics.
The track “GEEKIN” featuring Danny Towers is quite possibly the worst rack on the entire project. It is hard to believe Ski Mask had any say in this track at all. First off the beat is beyond generic, and sounds like it should be made for Swae Lee, who is nowhere near similar stylistically to Ski Mask the Slump God. Then Danny towers comes in and gives the track an even worse feature than SahBabii.
Although the majority of the project is sub par, there are some tracks that are worthwhile. Most notably, “CHILDSPLAY” played to all of Ski Masks strengths. The beat was infectously bouncy, yet aggressive and Ski Mask is able to come through with over the top energy that the whole album was missing.
“DAPPER DAN” rolls right off of “CHILDSPLAY’s” hype in the track list. Ski delivers hilarious lyrics like “I wanna spoon that b**** like she a Danimals” and the production is just enough to leave the listener satisfied.
The problem is these high points came far too late in the project. The listener has to suffer through lazily put together songs including two pointless Rich the Kid features and all around sleepy production. Ski Mask does the impossible on this album by making a run time of 21 minutes feel like an eternity. Hopefully on his next project Ski Mask will reach his full potential, but until then we are left underwhelmed and waiting.
Lowlights: THROWAWAY, GEEKIN, SUICIDESEASON