The long deserving and rising producer straight from Canal Streets underbelly, Sporting Life is the physical and mental embodiment of a championship pick-up game in the summer heat. From the blaring bass that hits and shakes like rebounds to the use of vocal samples that act as scattered voices in the night, Sporting Life has a sense of originality behind his direction. Through the Roland – SP-555 that is the cover’s spotlight, the instrument alone strikes fear into the hearts of the unworthy.
He opens 55 5’s with “Aloha”, a simple, but layered release that takes the listener by the hand and progresses them through a mind-crushing gauntlet of abstract sounds that push paint to the canvas. As Sporting Life works through the detail, acting as a work-horse that is stationed only to produce beats; the images of vivid and lush New York cityscapes flood the mind.
“Badd” which is one of the heavyweights of 55 5’s is an anthem that suddenly transports directly to the busy streets and hustle where more than just business is being handled. Sporting Life can manipulate these diagrams that flash brightly without having a visual attached, as “Badd” relies on the angelic vocal samples, the spoil comes from the frantic percussion that acts as an overlay to some sense of justice and perseverance. If the 4 train travels along Lexington Avenue, then Sporting Life is the entire city subway center diagram that maps out and has a plan for everything on that train ride.
The entirely instrumental album has enough lane switches and directional patterns to keep the listener engaged through the 10 total tracks. Some of his most fond and shining pieces reign through on 55 5’s as Sporting Life disappears among the crowd of people back into the sprawling and overdeveloped cityscape.