Never on schedule but always on time (one mo’ gin)–“Happy” by Criss Lyric

In January, a rapper named Criss Lyric submitted the video for “Happy,” the first single off of his Sumnar: The THC Project. For one reason or another, I didn’t get around to posting it–I remember digging it, but, coming down off of a thesis-writing-caffeine-fueled haze, forgot to post it. And so it lingered in my inbox as some things do.

Fast forward to 3:01 PM today. I receive another e-mail from Criss. It’s “Happy” again, but this time it’s featuring a few extra guests. Peep “Happy” ft. Nickelus F and Chuwee below and some thoughts after the jump.

Criss inhabits the mellow, weeded self-deprecation (“I remember when I was 5 years old/ Niggas called me dumbo cuz of my ears” and the song’s chorus work nicely to show the sort of self aware light humor that gives life to typical boasts of flyness that happen elsewhere in the song) that Curren$y mined on his two Pilot Talks. Though Criss comes drawl-free, he’s a charming and technically competent enough emcee to sell the persona and the track as a whole.

The arrival of Criss’ recent e-mail was also fortuitous because I had been looking for an excuse to post one of my favorite Nickelus F songs, “Prideful.” In light of my recent promise to post new music, I wanted to hold off. New Nickelus F comes to those who wait/attempt to abide by promises no one in particular would be upset about if broken. While Nick isn’t destroying anything on this one, he accompanies Criss and Chuwee nicely.

My only complaint concerns the beat. If you’re going to touch a sample that has already been used in a fantastic song, do something new with it. Producer Zulu’s beat is pleasant and serves the emcees well, but it isn’t appreciably different from Alchemist’s “Tick Tock” (which is higher pitched, a bit better mixed, and appeals to my taste–perhaps because I heard it first, or perhaps because it’s a stronger overall composition, a matter of taste), which also uses Side Effect’s “The Loneliest Man In Town” as its foundation.

As a bonus, here’s the video I received a few months back.

Also, if you’re digging what you hear, Criss’ tape Sumnar is available for download now. Haven’t given it a full listen yet, but I imagine if the rest of it is anything like “Happy” it will sit nicely on my Curren$y laced playlists.

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