MidaZ the Beast's AU may very well be the album that will fuck up your whole year. After years of sharpening his blade on a slew of underground projects and turning heads with a handful of recent high-profile guest spots on albums from Oh No, Marco Polo, and Alchemist, the Orlando emcee unveils his full potential on his official debut record. His ferocious attack might be jarring for audiences more accustomed to the sadly typical bland faceless rap of today, while his vivid storytelling may be too much for those who can only digest 140 characters.
Those who aren't ready need not apply.
But for listeners who want to experience a master class on rapping and songwriting, AU is the album that will define 2013. Featuring guest spots from Planet Asia, Roc Marciano, Blueprint, and Sabac Red (Non-Phixion) as well as production from Oh No, Marco Polo, IMAKEMADBEATS, Paten Locke, and TzariZM, AU is home to songs that run the gamut of styles. Songs like the bombastic grand opus "Champion of the Block" and the forebodingly tense "Goldberg" demonstrate that MidaZ is something of a Hip Hop Weapon X with the mic in his hand, while the introspective "Worthless," captivatingly detailed "Jane Doe," and eerie "Coma" reveal that he's the rap game's Alfred Hitchcock when it comes to painting a narrative. Along the way, he also drops smooth braggadocio raps ("Icing on the Cake"), engages in the world's most sinister spitting contest on "Bad Things," and reflects on abstract concepts the hip hop world has never touched on "Self-Actualization."