Two years after being a coma for 47 days due to open heart surgery, North Liberty, Iowa rapper Vybe aka OfficialVybe, is back with a brand new 18 track album, entitled “Anubis”. The rapper who initiated his craft under the guidance of Russell Barbary has since been produced by Grammy Award winner Matty Trump, on his single “Activist”, and has his songs available on over 600 stores in more than 120 countries. This album is chock full of more cast iron monster tunes than any mainstream rap album this year. In the world of casual rap fans, there are three prevailing doctrines under which just about everybody falls. Group one consists of those who are in it for the party. They vibe to anything with a decent beat that makes the club circuit. Group two, on the other hand, listens to rap so they can talk about introspective lyricists who craft poetic verses demanding continual and thorough scrutiny.
Thankfully, OfficialVybe fits the palate of Group three, a dying breed, which is characterized by the ability to separate the artist’s hype from his musical contributions, and to enjoy all of the predetermined traits in turn.
What makes “Anubis” so special is the interplay between narrative and vibe. Midwest rap usually welcomes an infusion of other regional styles and will willingly transform that into a newborn style, no matter the variants. “Anubis” reinforces this typicality, as the beats are a hybrid of coast to coast themes with some Southern elements.
Overall, I have to say this album packs quite a considerable punch, the same effect you’d get from a couple of shots of a hard spirit, while OfficialVybe proves he is a whole lot different to other rap artists.
And while the album has moments of great energy and lyrical smartness, OfficialVybe dishes out both great old school and modern day atmospheres which are authentic, unaffected and uninfluenced by any other rappers you can think of as he forges a style all of his own.
The Iowa rapper comes into the recording in cinematic style, on the opening track “Ima Die a Star”, setting the tone for what is to follow. “Bar from Bar” sees the artist shine a light on his craft as he lays down a list positives on being OfficialVybe on the mic.
On “Feel the Hype” OfficialVybe drops his vocal tone down a notch or two, giving him a completely different sound. “Ride My Wave” and “All the Sauce Dripping” unravels some more of OfficialVybe’s quirky vocal tricks, as he lays down multiple voices that contrast and counter each other, with squeaks and squaws that would even make an eclectic trapper like Future proud.
By the time we hit play on “Hottest in Yo City”, it’s clear that OfficialVybe is witty, charismatic, and knows when to reel it back and be serious, or just let it go and run with it. Which is what he does on the bizarre and unconventional 11:30.
Though OfficialVybe is just as comfortable showcasing his lyrics and flow on his own, “Anubis” features a handful of collaborative tracks, such as “Chasing a Bag” ft. Mok Mook, “Regret” ft. Monae Moroe, “Do What I Want” ft. TR33S and of course the aforementioned “11:30” ft. Laselle.
Unlike many rappers, OfficialVybe also understands his strengths and weaknesses, and makes up for any potential limitations by projecting his infectious personality and creative idiosyncrasies unabashedly. OfficialVybe leaves the best tracks for last, in my opinion, as “No Tomorrow” and “No Conversation” seem to impressively be the most perfect matches for his style and flow.
The production is solid, all the way through “Anubis”, but the real magic is all in OfficialVybe’s totally original flow and personal lyrics.