Album In Focus: Brush Strokes EP By Paintafresco

I know the word underrated is often abused but when it comes to Paintafresco it's genuinely true. The artist although still young shows more than just promise, he's already on a level of skill that's on par with the best of rap talents in Zimbabwe. Brush Strokes EP arrived as the artists first full project but it didn't feel like a debut EP. Artists often sound unsure and they're a little everywhere but Paintafresco has already found his sound and he's quite comfortable with it.

The project features 8 tracks and it might as well have been an album because it was good enough. It features a ZimHipHop in Crooger along with other talented acts like Chi and RayKaz. 

Blame Me opens up the EP and right from the get go it sets the tone for the project. Paintafresco has a style that blends together easy storytelling with quickly delivered clever wordplay. There is a certain honesty in how he discusses his faults and emotions although as typical of every rapper he indulges ego in a few lyrics.

In My Bag follows up the opening track and it brings that trap energy. It speaks about how he's overcome obstacles to be in the place he is and while showcasing humility in how he speaks on praying there's a certain pride in his accomplishments. Paintafresco also hints at feeling hopeless before finally finding a way to make it: 

I was down, I never thought I could be up
Surrounded by people who bleed, breathe
But no one around I could trust
I really thought I should leave the world 
I'm better off down in the dust
But then I got onto my knees

Some of the music instantly struck me but other tracks grew on me after a few listens. Generally Paintafresco has a soft spoken delivery so on In My Feelings his switch up in energy was clear to see. The rapper is more aggressive in his flow and there's an intensity to the sadness in the lyricism. He talks about being hurt and needing healing and the song has raw emotions. 

On froze feels a lot like the project's interlude. It still carries that easy going energy as every other song but it's not so serious. Paintafresco goes in as his own hypeman and the track is essentially a flex. It's the kind of lyrics you'd say to yourself in the mirror with the world at your feet. 

Super ft Chi takes us on a journey of contemplation, emotions and the status of our present realities. Chi gives an outstanding performance on chorus, so much so you can feel the emotions in every one of those high notes. Depression is the dark side of our existence but you can say Paintafresco beautifully paints those emotions. The lyricism brings to light parental expectations, the pressures of the world and all those things that divert us from our passions. It's a stand out song that feels like a duet performed for an audience of one because it'll speak to you. 

I know a boy who’s been battered and bruised by academics
I watch him cry as his will is broken to please his parents
And now he sees a psychiatrist with  pills and appointments 
So that he never has to hear them call him disappointment 
How many of us do not do what we want 
Because of fear of being poor and the desire to stunt
Having money’s not everything but I promise you cuz
That I am following the music and I’ll make it because 

Wave (Remix) ft RayKaz is one for the vibes and vibes it delivers. It has that mellow sound offset by RayKaz's hoarse undertones as he comes through on the chorus. There's this oscillation between the easy going chorus and lyrical gymnastics on the verses that make this such a good song to listen. 

WE ROCK ft Crooger offers up a calm reflection of life, it sort of screams "let me be" while still talking about the dreams of success. I like how Crooger and Paintafresco compliment each other in style and lyrical delivery. The song has so many quotables and punch lines galore. I especially liked one line when Paintafresco went, "Lately I feel like Cardi, the way I off-set the culture..."

All around I love this project, although I'll have to say it wasn't such a great listen in terms of the technical aspects. The production was good but could've been better and the mixing & mastering too.

Greedysouth rating: 6.9/10

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