Shane Bunting, aka Madchild, has been through some difficult times these past five years. The heavily autobiographical 16 track solo LP Dope Sick largely chronicles his battle with drug addiction. After hitting rock bottom and nearly dying from his addiction he secluded himself in his home studio and focused on making music. Dope Sick starts off with the gloomy and eerie sounding “Devil’s Rejects.” Right off the bat we have a standout track filled with Madchild’s captivating and aggressive flow along with DJ Revolution’s tight cuts and scratches. Madchild is back folks!
The tone of the album is set. “Grenade Launcher” sees him team up with fellow Swollen Member Prevail and Slaine. Producer C Lance provides a melodic b-boy-friendly soundscape. “Monster” is a brass heavy standout track where Madchild enthusiastically states his love of the underground: “Fuck a mainstream rapper, that’s my hashtag.” (On that note, follow him on Twitter @MadChild57.) “Wake Up” chronicles the first time he popped Percocet. On this reflective track he raps over the mellow and jazzy production of Rob The Viking. “Dickhead” (which has been available online for a few years) is a self-deprecating, lewd, yet hilariously funny track “As a kid I wasn’t making any sense. Screaming out her name, standing naked on a fence.” The lyrics in the closing song “Wanted” are very introspective and touch upon the frequent subject of his challenge with drug addiction: “It’s pretty crazy when your dreams were so close. You can touch ‘em, now they seem like old ghosts.” Dope Sick is a hard-hitting album from Madchild that has many standout tracks. It’s one of the very few hip hop albums this year that I can listen to without pressing skip… and that is dope sick! (Suburban Noize Records, suburbannoizerecords.com) Ryan Reyes