Pouya, the five foot five destroyer comes hailing from Florida, or rather Flawda as he describes it. He has a sense of cultural pride behind his home and flows with that southern style as Bone Thugs, but changes it to fit a new modern format.
On his newest record, FIVE FIVE, Pouya emerges from a break of touring and his last album, Underground Underdog, to reinstate his position as one of the faster, more breakneck rhymers of hip-hop. His work with $UICIDEBOY$, Ghostemane, or even Night Lovell who makes a feature on FIVE FIVE, Pouya shows his adaptability to both production and different lyricists on a near featureless masterpiece. The production which is handled exclusively by Mikey The Magician compliments Pouya incredibly well and has this elegance behind it. Pouya and elegance has never been two things in one sentence, but on FIVE FIVE he flips a script completely and rides these shifting piano heavy tracks that make for a new style to Pouya.
He moves swiftly, making FIVE FIVE feel as a new artist and something that is a more mature cut than Underground Underdog. “Aftershock” is a fairly vivid look into this new style of Pouya where he shifts behind this classy percussion and thumping bass line. Pouya explains, “I got a thousand enemies and yet they all wanna rip me, but even if you kill me I will never die, my words will live forever. I thought this money was suppose to make my life look better, but now this money got me dancing, dancing with the devil. Heavy metal, got my pants sagging like a 90’s rebel, I can never settle, I need my settlements lately. Been around the world but Miami is where my grave be”.
Moving through the gun smoke and debris in a glimmering, triplet and shifted fashion, Pouya feels personal and has a better ear to his style on FIVE FIVE. There is still a strong clash within FIVE FIVE where the tracks become much stronger and move in a more destructive fashion. Especially on the self titled track, “FIVE FIVE” where the punching bass moves Pouya into a power stance, rhyming “So put some respect on my name, my flame is reigning with no label. Momma said ‘Get that bread and lay low’, while you sippin’ on your Faygo, 45 Blow off your halo”. It is the same raw tenacity behind Pouya’s voice that made crowds and mosh pits fall in love with him from the beginning, but now he moves with a stronger, more forward and flowing approach.
It is this violence that Pouya portrays however that makes his sound feel rough and as he is not a target but instead an assaulter. “Bitch back off of me, mac on my hip when I bust I turn you obsolete. Don’t bother me, iPhone buzz if I don’t get it once what the fuck you think. I’m not the type to think before I act, you can bust a 1000 rounds, I’m still intact”. Pouya raps over “Back off Me” where the foreboding instrumentation and eventual church bell chime conflicts with the rattling and twisted hi-hats to form a production that is fit for a king.
Mikey The Magician destroyed every bar here with the production and he quickly showed that he can be a driving force behind a great lyricist and move the pieces to fit this overarching puzzle piece. FIVE FIVE is important, a new stepping stone in Pouya’s career, and one that lives on through the beauty of the sunshine, but also the dark underbelly of Miami.