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Forgotten Fridays: Double brings twice the effort with 'Pain Killer'

Cover art for Double's album "Pain Killer"
Cover art for Double's album "Pain Killer"

"Pain Killer" by Double


Last week, "Forgotten Fridays" put "Ketsuban" under the microscope. However, this week this Examiner ventures a little closer toward the other end of the hip-hop spectrum with "Pain Killer."

Double is a Chicago-born, Logan County-based rapper who can be given a large amount of credit for the current scene in Guthrie, Okla. Double, along with some peers, such as Kulprit D and J.R.O., helped kick-start the movement and is at the forefront of it.

The 23-year-old emcee's fifth mixtape was released as a free download via Bandcamp and Datpiff in the middle of December 2012 and was a success with Double fans and Oklahoma hip-hop fans in general. So much so that the Twitter feeds of those in the Oklahoma City rap scene, including this Examiner's, got a steady flood of tweets supporting the album with tweets reading "#PainKiller" and "#No_Pain." Also, the album spawned a few fan favorites, such as "24-7," "The Crave (The Smoke)" and "Never Tapping Out," the latter of which was featured on a compilation mixtape of Oklahoma rappers titled "Thunder Up: OKC's Finest."

Double's beat selection for "Pain Killer" is an attention-getter, for sure, and perhaps because other artists in the area aren't selecting beats like this. Many productions on this project have some electronica influence with ambient synthesizers and fast-kick drums; a couple tracks even resembling later work by the pop duo Savage Garden. However, the beats do contain that classic hip-hop sound, a handful seemingly paying homage to the "Crunk" era.

At times the beats seem to have some Kendrick Lamar, Street Light and a possible Danny Brown influence. But since this album was released just as these rappers were becoming household names, that influence is probably unlikely.

Lyrically, Double brings braggadocios verses laced with some tongue-in-cheek analogies. There are a handful of moments where the comparisons are quite clever, but with most songs being under two minutes and it being a fast-paced album, they are hard to catch. Though the lyrics are Hip-Hop 101, for the most part, Double speaks with a raspy yet subtle conviction that makes it easier for the listener to receive the message.

This Examiner can definitely tip his hat to Double and his efforts on "Pain Killer." Taking some downsides into consideration, such as vocals that are a little too reverb-heavy, mediocre features and a recycled line here and there, this album comes out with more good than bad--and a 3/5 star rating.