Did this motherfucker just reference Joyce’s Ulysses? Yep, he did. And that’s on the first fucking track. (Line: “Telemachus sneezed” referencing the first section of Ulysses called “Telemachus”. There’s a hunk of text in Ulysses dedicated to sneezing, snot, and the sea.)
First off, let’s break down some lines off this album:
The album title:
“sovereign nose of (y)our arrogant face”
Dude named Joel A. Freeman popularized this theory that the nose and lips on the Great Sphinx of Giza were removed cause they looked characteristically black. This may not be true, but this album assumes it is. The neat trick of the album title is the removable “Y” in the word “(y)our” that mirrors the removal of the nose on the Sphinx. Take the “Y” and it spells “our”. That’s a pretty fucking cool album title.
“In the park with my words like Studs Terkel
Curious to learn how the fuzz burned you
You know, we could swap stories all day, really”
Studs Terkel wrote, “The Good War”: An Oral History of World War II” back in ’85. He created this Pulitzer prize-winning book by combining a fuckton of interviews from across the world concerning the war. Rory feels like he’s the Studs Terkel of his own community as he gathers stories and collects pieces of modern history and throws them down in verse.
If you’ve never dug deep into this kind of album before, let me hit you with some advice. Don’t be the dumb shit throwing on this album willy-nilly and thinking you’re going to get it. There are more chances of running into Rory in person and him explaining each and every line than understanding it this way. This type of rap works like an old-school novel. You’ve got to look up the references, read those fucking lyrics, and treat Wikipedia like a town bicycle. Alternatively, you could keep listening to this shit on repeat until all the references come to you naturally, but fuck that. I prefer option one. Being all natural and organic sounds nice at first, but diving into the thick technology-aided lyrical deep end of the pool feels nicer to me than playing in the kiddie pool full of piss.
Rory Ferreira, aka Scallops Hotel, aka Milo, is a shining example of rap as a high art (whatever that means). If you’re still in the mindset that rap is all about making that sweet lettucey green or “bitches and hoes” then you need to get over your shit, expand that record shelf, and open up your mind. This Milwaukee rapper born in ’92 (feel old yet?) is wise beyond his years. Instead of beefing up his automobile he threw all his RMPs into being autodidactic. Dude dropped out of philosophy to pursue a rap career. Ya, that’s right. Rory’s smart as fuck. He wanted to be a philosopher instead of studying philosophy. Joyce would’ve loved Rory’s verses. He would’ve called this shit “scrotumtightening”.