Review: An0maly – “Hidden Stash” EP










RATING: 8.5/10



An0maly fans had been waiting for many months to learn more about Hidden Stash, the follow up album from the rapper to his June release, Acid Nightmares. Hidden Stash was released on Christmas Day, and it is a gift to remember.

Hidden Stash is a five song EP that contains two bonus tracks, featuring production by Septembers1st, Marcus D’Tray, A-Rayz, Vitko Beats, and even An0maly himself. With such a hard-hitting list of producers, and mastering and mixing handled by Septembers1st, it is no surprise that each instrumental track on the album shimmers and shines. Hidden Stash’s production is top notch, comparable to any major label hip-hop release in recent memory.

The production provides a gorgeous sonic landscape for An0maly to rap over, and on many tracks, the young rapper slides into an easy groove: “Diddy Kong” is an upbeat track with classic An0maly one-liners, and “Invisible King” sees the emcee unleash his aggressive side, ferociously spitting his frustrations with society and the current rap game. Bonus track “Angel” picks up where Acid Nightmares left off. Septembers1st delivers one of his best instrumentals, soaring synths with slightly punchier bass lines that allows An0maly to exhibit his natural grace on the microphone. His cadence seamlessly blends with the beat, feeling relaxed yet intense simultaneously.

The problem with Hidden Stash is not in the quality of each song, but with the EP’s overall cohesiveness. “Hard Times” and “Diddy Kong” are both excellent songs, but they feel oddly placed. “Hard Times” is an upbeat track typical of An0maly’s less political music; the beat is uplifting, accompanied by clever puns and golden rhymes; “Diddy Kong” is a relaxed, natural sounding song with lyrical content well below what An0maly’s repertoire contains. The lines about girls and hook ups feel like they are on the wrong album with the emcee who is known for conscious and intelligent lines.

On the flip side of the coin, intelligent lines are in abundance on Hidden Stash. “Invisible King” is the lyrical standout of the album with An0maly asking, “How the fuck can I have any faith in a planet/Where are the best are getting shot, imprisoned or banished?” “Angel” and “One for the People” also deliver lyrically, examining not just political but social and musical issues and contradictions.

Fans hoping for Acid Nightmares Pt. 2 will have to keep waiting, but for anyone seeking an enjoyable release featuring some of An0maly’s best sounding work will find Hidden Stash to be one of winter’s best hip-hop releases.

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