MACH'S HARD LEMONADE: ALBUM REVIEW
If you want to purchase any one of Mach-Hommy's albums, be prepared to spend between 111 and 3,000 dollars. He charges what he feels his words are worth, and so far, his fans have been willing to pay for his music. Mach has built his career as one of the least accessible yet most talented rappers of all time.
On Mach-Hommy’s newest album, Mach’s Hard Lemonade, he continues his streak of fantastic and dense projects that showcase his immense lyrical talent. Luckily, the project is streaming exclusively on Tidal, so there is a way to listen to it without shelling out over 100 dollars. Mach’s Hard Lemonade bucks every trend in hip-hop right now to deliver an album that feels out of a different time period. There is nobody else making music anything like Mach-Hommy and it's inspiring to see him continuing to push his sound forward even though at this point he is in a league of his own.
On any Mach-Hommy project, some lyrics you won’t understand for hours, days, months, or even years after listening. He is not a fan of having his lyrics written out or explained, in fact, he has gone to great lengths to remove his lyrics from the internet when they are posted, (so I will refrain from doing so in this review). As a music listener, not having access to a written version of his lyrics means that if Mach mumbles or the beat is a little too loud to make out what he's saying, you will never be able to know what he meant. So, in order to fully experience one of his projects, you have to continually rewind in order to find out what exactly Mach is getting at. It took me about 20 minutes of rewinding to even process the song “Marshmallow Test,” as he spits at lighting speed over a beautiful and soulful instrumental. The beauty of finally understanding a Mach-Hommy lyric is that once you hear the true meaning behind his words, it feels like it was hiding in plain sight all along.
On Mach’s Hard Lemonade, Mach-Hommy expands his circle of collaborators, including many more artists than normal, and showcasing a variety of different underground voices. Although he has hinted at an upcoming Jay-Z collab, it doesn’t appear on this album, but the album does boast features from the likes of Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue who both rap their asses off to keep up with Mach-Hommy on the project. Along with Earl and Navy Blue, classic Mach-Hommy collaborators like Your Old Droog and Tha God Fahim make a return and show us why Mach continuously trusts them to deliver on each project he releases.
There’s not much to excite you on this album but beats and verses. There are only a few hooks and they usually take the form of muttered lines at a break in the beat. Sometimes it becomes unclear when the verse even starts, like on the song “photocopy Sloppy (Dump Fraud)” where Mach-Hommy speaks quietly over a multilayered beat, spitting a cross between a verse and a thank you note to his fans. On this track he makes it clear that anyone who buys his music is not just a listener, they are an “investor.” This perfectly describes the ethos of why Mach values both his music and fans so highly. When a fan buys his music, to him it's the same as owning a part of what he makes.
Mach Hommy is a really important artist in terms of how willing he is to break industry standards. He’s done the opposite of what is trendy at any time, yet only seems to gain popularity. The track “NJ Ultra” is a great example of this, as it has no drums and exclusively features sweeping string patterns for an instrumental. The song does not sound awkward or out of place at all even though Mach typically raps over heavy drum loops. The “Clout Dracula (Remix)” features an intense and grating instrumental with Mach rapping almost entirely in Haitian Creole. Since there are no lyrics available for any of Mach’s songs, your only choice as a listener is to let the sound of his voice wash over you.
Letting Mach’s vocals wash over you is the best way to experience his music. What he brings to hip-hop is utterly irreplaceable and the fact that he keeps finding new ways to push his sound forward is impressive. It’s hard to be one of the most well-known underground figures in rap for more than three years and still make your music almost completely inaccessible, but Mach-Hommy makes his music inaccessible because he knows its true value. As long as he keeps producing projects like Mach's Hard Lemonade people will certainly keep supporting him.