Mach-Hommy "#RICHAXXHAITIAN" Album Review

Mere weeks after Mach-Hommy released Pray For Haiti in 2021, the nation's 43rd president was assassinated, injecting a dire and gut-wrenching sense of realism into anyone who didn't take its title seriously. The Haitian-American rapper has always made it clear that his music is about much more than a polyglot pen, intricate rhyme schemes, wordplay that can be as narrative and culturally rooted as it is clever, and lest we forget his mystical beat selection. Now that his home country is further politically destabilized, rampant with gang activity, and still in a languid humanitarian crisis, this mission to give back, educate, and inspire seems as heartening and futile as it's ever been.

However, Mach-Hommy refuses to make any effort go to waste, and out of the dark and saddening shroud of Haiti's 2024 so far, he made one of his brightest and most immediate albums up to this point. #RICHAXXHAITIAN concludes a tetralogy that began with 2016's HBO (Haitian Body Odor) and continued with Pray For Haiti and that year's subsequent Balens Cho (Hot Candles), which seems overtly dedicated to Mach's Caribbean home (and, in Pray For Haiti's case as one of his first streamable efforts, contributes monetarily to his fund for educational advancement and infrastructure in Haitian communities). Whereas all these projects wear this influence on their sleeve, this new album builds off of the struggle and perseverance of previous installments to craft a triumphant and awe-inspiring experience.

Read More: Mach-Hommy Drops Ethereal Project, "Notorious Dump Legends: Volume 2"


#RICHAXXHAITIAN offers a comparatively more colorful, vivid, and accessible sonic pallet than albums like Balens Cho. Warm sample flips and fuzzy production contrast icy drum timbres and melancholy melodies all over this album, such as the regal horns on "POLITickle" with Drea D'Nur and a languid guitar loop on "GORGON ZOE LAN." Across the board, the beats here feel fuller and more lush, but elements like the stark percussion on "THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW" bring them back down to Earth when they soar too close to the sun. Of these high-flying moments, there are touching glimpses of longing desperation, such as the woodwinds on "LON LON" with Archie Whitewater, paired with more expected Mach-Hommy fare like the hunched-over creaks on "GUGGENHEIM JUNE" or the Wild West atmosphere on "ANTONOMASIA" with Roc Marciano.

Speaking of stellar features, the Newark and Port-au-Prince MC enlists familiar faces like Tha God Fahim on "PADON," Your Old Droog on "EMPTY SPACES," and Big Cheeko on "SAME 24" with Norman Connors to provide some cutting verses. In addition to Mach-Hommy himself, August Fanon, Elijah Hooks, Conductor Williams, Quelle Chris, Fortes, Messiah Musik, and a heavy Sadhu Gold presence flesh things out behind the board. #RICHAXXHAITIAN results in a cohesive and well-flowing journey for your ears, revamping and reinvigorating the East Coast griminess that outfits like Griselda have popularized and, for some, oversaturated. Here, though, the wondrous and explorative nature of the instrumentals points to a new way forward, and Mach is always up front and center to lead the pack.

Read More: Mach-Hommy & Tha God Fahim Share New Album, "Duck CZN: Tiger Style"

Mach-Hommy Is One Of Hip-Hop's Most Razor-Sharp Pens

We won't spoil the extent of this lyrical mastery here. After all, he is a hunter, and wants us to also enjoy the prowl more than the end result. Mach-Hommy flips everything to perfection, whether it's a sly Star Wars bar, a reflection on the work of Howard Thurman, the trials and tribulations of Foxy Brown, or white phosphorus in Gaza. There are deep-rooted references here to extinct Haitian birds, New York drill rappers, representations of Haiti in film, cultural appropriation and exploitation, and the contrast between riches and rewards. "F**k a Forbes list," the Dump Gawd spits at one point, eschewing the status that his wealth brings in favor of focusing on improving his family's situation. The "XEROX CLAT" interlude with Haitian Jack blasts "avaricious hyper-capitalistic aims" and the next track proclaims its creator as the richest-ever Haitian.

This duality defines much of #RICHAXXHAITIAN and sets it apart the most from predecessors like Pray For Haiti. Yet Mach-Hommy is able to divide his attention and conquer his subject matter with ease, with a cut alongside an excellent Black Thought feature focusing on snitches, farcity, and a lack of principle in the hip-hop game, for example. Interludes like "AUX BON PARFUMS" highlight Haiti's plight, and some cuts like "(...)" and "SUR LE PONT d'AVIGNON (Reparation #1)" use French and Krèyol to make the album's cultural identity unmistakable. Throughout, Mach employs absolutely absurd rhyme schemes (see "SONJE" for a quick mind-blow) and the year's best quotables so far, such as particularly hard bars about vegan thoughts, fetuses on trays, Tyshawn Jones, parking fees, and forty pieces of silver.

Read More: Mach-Hommy Returns With Tha God Fahim On "Dollar Menu 4"

Answering Haiti's Prayers

Towards the end of "COPY COLD," you can hear a Sky News report on the current state of Haiti before the KAYTRANDA-produced title track with 03 Greedo gets you up and dancing with irresistible rhythms and double-time flows. "HOLY ____" infuses gospel into #RICHAXXHAITIAN's toolbox to close the album out on a hopeful, calm, healing, and almost victorious note. These moments really stress the accomplishments behind the project, as Mach-Hommy basks in his success, skill, and acclaim while still giving back to the circumstances that produced it. Despite the mystery behind this career and its pricey release methods, no other 2024 album places as much emphasis on the music speaking for itself. It's a treasure trove of references, history, and lessons to discover, and is easily the most rewarding LP to hit the game in a long time, let alone this year.

However, through sharper hooks, enjoyably immersive production, top-tier spitting, and a consistently confident demeanor, Mach-Hommy made #RICHAXXHAITIAN every bit as simply impactful as it is often overwhelming. The fight for Haiti's soul is much bigger than any one hip-hop album, and the difficult nature of soldiering for it has failed to slow him down one bit. This tetralogy tied up with a gorgeous bow, and one that pushes the influence and value of Haitian culture across the world with all the joy and amazement that the hardship of previous projects earned. Mach is a literary artist who refuses to compromise his worth for comfort, and one that's clearly still on the hunt for evolution and fulfillment in every sense of his artistry.

Read More: Mach-Hommy Drops "Dump Gawd: Triz Nathaniel" EP For $222 On His Website
The post Mach-Hommy "#RICHAXXHAITIAN" Album Review appeared first on HotNewHipHop.


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