'Inspired By True Events' — Crook Brown: Closing Statements



THROUGHLINE


Carter: Crook Brown keeps it airtight on Inspired By True Events — very little runtime is compromised, leaving the listener with thirty minutes of raw, unfiltered storytelling.


Marty: Crook Brown’s Inspired by True Events is one of the most honest and emotional renditions of living in a tough area. He simultaneously displays the extreme prowess and intellect of his songwriting.



PRODUCTION


Carter: Each instrumental selection on this record feels meticulously hand-picked. The title track, which comes after an opening “transcript,” is an incredible triumph — gleaming, video-gamey synths bounce alongside a heavy-hitting 808-line (it’s by far the project's hardest track). From then on, there’s a number of pace changes: “88 Cutlass” is dreamy and soothing, “Goin’ Up” is soulful and grand, and “BMW” uses the chipmunk sample and highly popular, piano-driven keys as its backbone. Brown’s diverse use of speed, tempo and instrumentation keeps the listener on their toes from start to finish — simply put, the beats never blur together. That, in itself, is means for celebration in a congested genre.


Marty: Crook does a really good job at finding instrumentals that fit and fuse together masterfully with his flow and rhyming techniques. So, when Crook uses instrumentals from critically acclaimed producer SamTRax, this chemistry is as well-bonded as peanut butter and jelly. SamTRax’s otherworldly, extra-terrestrial beats are definitely a highlight of the album and match Crook’s dense and viscous flow.



WRITING/DELIVERY


Carter: Crook Brown has a way with words, and he has a voice that commands comfort and attention. “88 Cutlass” finds the MC reminiscing on family stories of days past through the lens of a cult-classic car — he raps, “and when it finally hits/I’d rather remember and cry/than to somehow forget.” It’s precious moments like these that tie Brown’s personal experiences directly to the listener. He opens a window into the soul, one that we can look into as he pours his heart into his lines with a passive intensity.


Marty: His pen game is what Crook is known for and his songwriting is definitely a bright spot on the album. His writing can take form in two equally impressive directions: a brief, heart-wrenching anecdote with no instrumental about a theft in a mall when Crook was on probation like in “Transcript 2” is just as emotionally charged as Crook rapping about his mentality while living in College Park on a sparkling and spacy beat like in “88 Cutlass.” Each song is as jam-packed with power and emotion as the next; Crook does this in splendid fashion.


FEATURES


Carter: SuperChillly is this album’s shining feature guest. On three different tracks — “Goin’ Up,” “Run My Own Race” and “All We Know” — the vocalist compliments Brown on, perhaps, the album’s strongest run of songs. My favorite is “Run My Own Race,” particularly due to his ability to layer muted notes with a wildly catchy chorus. It’s clear these two have a notable chemistry and should continue to collaborate on future endeavors.


Marty: Throughout the album, Crook delivers monologues and anecdotes about his personal encounters while living in the south side of Atlanta. With that being said, this is Crook’s key strength throughout the album. Even though features like Bibi Bourelly and SuperChillly