Xavier Wulf is the whiplash general stemming from Memphis. With previous mixtape releases that shook arenas and quickly rose Wulf to a mainstream audience with an underground flare, East Memphis Maniac is the well deserved sequel to all the hell that he raised previously.
Independent and basically the worst thing to ever happen in a record label’s worst nightmare, Wulf commands audiences with an iconic delivery through vocal aggression. An artist’s voice is always important when it is the main instrument being used; often paired with a flurry of 808 bass and tormenting instrumentation, there is no shortage of possession within his voice. East Memphis Maniac is an additional outlook from Wulf that seems more as an overlord than an artist at times.
Opening with the thunderous “Check it Out”, Wulf is a standard in the underground hip-hop collection of kings that reign with an iron hand. Still able to slide in the relaxed and non-threatening, East Memphis Maniac takes hold of a different animal. Where Project X, Blood Shore Season 2, or even his collaborative effort with TeamSESH collective leader Bones; Wulf is a dual-faced artist of intrigue and power that establishes sequences of mystery as well. As what seemed like millions scream “Fuck a bitch boy fuck a nigga shit too, I give no fuck about who the fuck she came with…” Xavier Wulf holds these bars on the audience and can manipulate that energy to create something almost superhero-esque.
As he continues to move on, through “Homecoming”, “Request Refused”, or “Wake Walker”, Wulf holds a truth behind his lyrics that makes the easiest work of running through brick walls and standing ten feet tall. Each release can instantly open up a mosh-pit within the office, or at the family picnic without a hesitation, East Memphis Maniac is no different. There are moments on here where Wulf leaves no room for the imagination and describes in immaculate detail what a day in his life looks like.
“I slide by ‘em like Suzuki’s, watching movies in my Bimmer…Don’t make me pull up in a damn bus just to school you. Boy, I’m plottin’ sippin’ sake, they gonna watch because they can’t avoid it” Wulf explains through this veil of clouded vision on “Riding Shotgun in Japan”. With an all-star cast of features diving from KOHH, Skepta, Chris Travis, Bones, Idontknowjeffery, Tay Keith, Eddy Baker, and even MadeinTYO stops by for a quick verse on “Match Hunters”. In a seamless transition, “Chaos Castle” holds all members of SHWB in a pit of fury that erupts with verses from each member.
With a perfect send off into the eventual ether of silence. East Memphis Maniac is a continuation of the Wulf story. A fairy tale to the common man, but to the legend of the underground, it is just another day.