The 7th World of Conscienceness is inside Bob’s beard.
The south side artist formerly known as Kaboose–now newly re-branded Vernon Bridges–acid-trips onto the local hip hop scene with an album full of Infinity Gauntlet production, psychedelic rhymes, 500-year-old beef, and love-hate tales of domestic violence guided by an overall bottom-up perspective. Delivering a certain level of unconvention coupled with an honest depiction of a not-so-vulnerable man, Vernon Bridges dwells in the sickness of the present while looking toward the coming apocalypse with hope. The album gives a heavy nod to structured songwriting, with actual hooks and verses that match, creating conceptually complete songs that listeners can become invested in. On the production end, Infinity Gauntlet provides a striking backdrop, with sample selection at times reminiscent of an ’80’s James Cameron film score, we are given full and detailed beats that consist of change ups, intros/outros, bridges and choruses. Wrought of Chaos comes correct with a strong presentation, thorough craft, and of course…strong music.
The album opens with the aptly put “A Kid’s Concept of Good and Evil”, in which Vernon details a now-adult’s jaded outlook of the nationalistic, simplified notions overfed to children via comic books, cartoons, and action figures. The song carries on with a reconciled yet cautionary regard for the gray area that ultimately defines the nature of good and evil. This is a sentiment revisited throughout the album. From relationships to society at large, Vern explores the moral ambiguity that truly defines life.
The strongest track of the album is the extremely dope, “The 6th World of Conscienceness”. When the video premiered I had never heard of Kaboose or Vernon Bridges. I found myself clicking the replay button several times and afterwards, I was unable to shake its digging hook. Paranoia and self-righteous, grandiose self reverence contrasted with a personal comparison to worms, enlightenment, and violence, all aspects of a proud self-portrait, maintaining dignity in the face of 500 years of conquest. The song serves as a rejection of the contemporary material world and present state of Chicano/a assimilation.
Fuck Nike Cortez, my huaraches made of Michelin tires
my militant attire: Jaguar headdress
Another aspect of this track’s success is Infinity’s production: a crackin’ drum track beneath restrained strings and wind that assist in invoking a humid, south American jungle setting of which Vernon longs to return. The production is cinematic in the very least, giving the emcee a point of reference so robust, failure would be difficult.
Infinity Gauntlet achieves this same effect with the album’s sneaky, mega-banger, “Jellyfish”. Several layers of backwards loops, crashing waves, treated keys, reverberating drums and a chopped-and-screwed hook give the track a level of texture and depth that assist in the storytelling. Again, with a beat hard to fail over, Vernon smashes with a subdued tale of a world, post-global disaster and its living conditions.
Once upon a time, there lived a little boy,
who against the odds, grew into a man
Whose land was completely and utterly destroyed
by an asteroid that hit off the coast of Japan
Vernon Bridges “Jelly Fish”
Technically speaking, the album sounds clean and well mastered. While there are no engineering credits on the CD, it’s probably safe to assume that Infinity Gauntlet is responsible for it. With no guest appearances from himself or others, Wrought of Chaos is very pointed in tone and construction. With each song different from the last, both on the production end and writing-wise, the album gives a peek at both its builders’ repertoires. While it would be easy to become distracted by quality of production, Vernon still commands the spotlight here. Vernon Bridges details with a flush of imagery throughout the album, a proclivity towards substance abuse, the decay of relationships, the city’s whirlwind of grave notions and of course, the natural world that has been overcome by such things. However, a central theme in Vernon’s music is that the natural world is still a place worth returning to. Once that point is grasped, all sense of abstraction is removed and we are presented with a clear direction.