From the jump the two things that will catch your attention about the Young Heavyweights’ (YHW) Ratchet Punch EP are the title, of course, and the album artwork.
The attractive female topless in purple water with an ankh symbol on her forehead, leaves listeners wondering what might be in store upon pressing play.
“The album artwork of Ratchet Punch is giving you a perspective of YHW’s ‘spiritually ratchet’ lifestyle,” explains North English, one-third of the group in a written statement.
On the spiritual lens, the artwork features a “zen-like, naked Goddess with an ankh displayed, being baptized in purple water with natural fruits,” he adds.
On the flip side, a.k.a. the ratchet one, the group is sipping ‘a cultural punch’ and indulging in some of the things they love about hip-hop music: sexy women, drug experimentation and the various temptations they are faced with as humans every day.
Well, the seven-track EP, including the intro and bonus song, matches the artwork, effectively taking the listener through a chemically-induced “spiritually ratchet” journey that by the time it ends, you can’t help, but want to hit repeat and zone out again.
To get the full effect of what YHW is about playing the EP from start to finish is a must.
The project is a cohesive story, beginning with an intro of a woman talking to her friend about a party she’s going to hit up, before the crew – IKENO, D.E.Z. and North English – hits you with the first song “Crash The Party” chanting over the chorus, “Turn up squad is outside, we just crashed the party! Set this party off right, we just crashed the party!”
On their own, tracks like “Ratchet Rich,” “Purple Pill”, “Babylon” and previously mentioned “Crash The Party” are automatic stand outs due to the solid production and verses from each emcee, but to get the full effect of what YHW is about playing the EP from start to finish is a must. Each cut continues the story of partying, having a good time and reflecting on the aftermath of that ‘wild night’.
Or is the party just a metaphor? That’s left up for the listener to decide.
Photos © Janelle Scott-Johnson & Urbanology Magazine