It’s Complicated, It’s All Happening So Fast, Even Though I Can’t Keep up With You, You’ll Always Be My Sunshine (TheTracklist EP, for short) is the second release this year from north Portland emcee Maze Koroma though EYRST Music. As a member of the Renaissance Coalition, a Portland collective of hip hop lyricists, producers and visual artists, Maze Koroma, brings his signature unorthodox flow and charismatic persona to this five track EP.
With this range of vocal ability, Maze Koroma tackles a handful of pressing topics and social issues on TheTracklist EP. Maze explores the struggles and frustrations of being a rapper in the Portland hip-hop scene on “Complicated,” and does so in a fashion that showcases the 24-year old emcee’s knack for skillful and well-crafted writing and apt wordplay.
Maze examines the influence of technology and it’s lasting, and sometimes tarnishing effects on love and relationships on the track “It’s All Happening So Fast.” He does so with maturity, far beyond his years. This maturity is exemplified in his self- reflection and scrutiny of the digital sphere—a place much of our lives are spent.
TheTracklist EP is a shining example of Maze Koroma’s versatility. While at times packing in rhyme after rhyme into his bars, seemingly tramping preconceived lyrical structures, Maze Koroma also brings his woeful and impassioned vocals to the project, especially on the track “Even Though I Can’t Keep Up With You.”
Produced entirely by EYRST’s Neill Von Tally, and composed from samples created during one studio jam session with Ripley Snell, and Maze, TheTracklist EP finds the artist on a journey through time, love, loss, and life. Along with Von Tally and Snell, accompanying Maze Koroma on this journey are label mates Martell Webster, and The Last Artful, Dodgr; as well as vocalist Cristina Cano, who provide backing vocals throughout the EP. There’s also additional bass by Minh Tran.
As a follow up to his Osiris EP, his first release via EYRST music back in February, TheTracklist EP continues the themes of nostalgia, adolescence, technology, and the struggles of being a rapper in the Portland hip-hop scene. At the heart of the project is a bashful sincerity that cements Maze Koroma’s much-needed place in hip hop.
Featured image by Anthony Taylor.