Atlanta based artist Allen Thomas recently released the third and final installment of his “Void Scrolls” series. Thomas released the first of the three all the way back in 2016, and has unapologetically stuck to his artistic vision through each release. The description of the first “Void Scroll” states that these tapes are “loosely based around a podcast broadcast from The Void, a fictional place in the world of Little Earth,” and are “a small collection of journal entries written and recorded during the journey through The Void.” Though each tape shares similar influence: a healthy mix of jazz, funk, and MF Doom-esque flows; each tape maintains a unique personality, it’s as if in each tape was created after his travels in different regions in “The Void.” Perhaps this is the case, or perhaps Thomas’ soundscape and lyrical capability improved and matured as he aged and put more hours into harnessing them. Regardless, the “Void Scrolls III” is a trophy case display of Thomas’ extremely articulate, raw, and relatable worldview, his seemingly effortless ability to glide on the heavily jazz sampled beats, and some tasteful satire on an array of both superficialities and hyperrealities that are overt in present hip-hop culture. The most notable piece of satire comes from a sample placed in the middle of the seventh track “In P-R” in which a news reporter states: “In Void news a local rap artist is suing a local artist after they all walked out on his set…the twelve audience members are said to have left when the emcee ‘demanded they come closer to the stage and pose for his crowd selfie.’”
If you were to ask me which single song you should listen on this tape, I’d say the third track titled “The Intervention of Lazarus.” This song offers Thomas’ best display of professionally lazy flow and undeniably raw lyrics, all over a glistening jazz beat. He raps of overcoming obstacles and the seemingly never ending pursuit of finding your self. This song profoundly affected me, most prominently these bars that he rapped toward the backend of the track: “said he was looking for something but now he’s glad he found / something that’s deeper than a nut and a sad rebound / and that’s no disrespect to anyone that’s searchin’ / answers are hard to find I question anyone that’s certain.” A link to the song’s accompanying visual is posted below.
“The Void Scrolls III” is really a breath of fresh air for the underground hip-hop scene, one which currently feels like over half of the artists share the same auto-tune croon routine and nearly identical lyrical content. This tape provided not just a change in vibe, but this tape provided insight into a seemingly good man’s worldview, which is an extremely hard thing to articulate, especially when using music as your medium. When listening to this tape I really felt like I was reading through Thomas’ journal, mainly because of how his delivery exudes such a personal aura, making it feel like he’s rapping to you instead of for you. This aspect of Thomas also makes the tape less accessible; as I stated before, he is completely unapologetic and uncompromising about his artistic vision. As a result of that, this tape feels like it’s more for him than anyone else, and I appreciate and salute that one hundred percent.
The Intervention of Lazarus visual: https://youtu.be/q7olLKeiwCg
Written by: Millan Verma (@wf_verma)
Allen Thomas IG: @allenthomas