Harlem emcee UFO Fev and Phoenixville-based producer Vanderslice team up for their collaborative album, Enigma of Dalì, which blends surrealist art vibes with raw street rap for one of the year’s most immediately engaging releases.
Both artists continue to shine on this LP after dropping a number of impressive projects in 2020. For Fev, it was a period of incredible consistency as he put out Fresh Air, From El Barrio, With Love, and The Ghost of Albizu, produced entirely by Statik Selektah, Termanology, and Big Ghost Ltd, respectively. As for Vanderslice, he’s coming off the release of the Trendsetter EP, which paired some of his dopest beats with the likes of G Perico and Ty Farris, among others, and recently handled production for OT The Real’s latest single, “Kensington Beach” featuring the legendary Beanie Sigel.
With Enigma of Dalì, we’re seeing two like-minded artists push themselves even further as they embody the experimentalism of Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalì. “He became my muse, and someone whom I began to study,” Fev explains. “In my free time, I’d watch his interviews and would begin to pen lyrics. Subconsciously, I was writing from the point of view of someone misunderstood, very much like Dalì was.”
You can hear that sense of purpose in standout tracks “Crack Shifts (feat. Flee Lord)” and “Scarlet Letters,” two tough joints with equally snarling lyricism and production. Other highlights include the beat-switching “Pack Flip (feat. Red Infinite)” and super-smooth “Jazz Criminals (feat. SmooVth).” These tracks embody what makes the album so special, and why Vanderslice is especially proud of it.
“This record is near and dear to me, it’s street music made by street people,” he says. “The features were chosen with care and attention to the music itself. This is the closest thing you’re getting to the Purple Tape this decade.”
Enigma of Dalì is available now through all DSPs, vinyl (in both classic black and a limited clear with blue marble edition), and CD via Coalmine Records. Various bundle options are also on hand, with slipmats, t-shirts, and high quality framed prints of the full album cover spread. Can you dig it?