Album Review: The New Flexico Album by Young Flexico
Young Flexico isn’t your average rapper. A protege of veteran Richmond legend Nickelus F, Flexico represents the 804 with a swagger that boisterous and kinetic when you hear his voice. First appearing with 2017’s Platinum Plus, Vol. 1, the Southside artist gave us a snapshot of what he is about: syrupy flows with a cadence that strikes in the vein of Pimp C and Webbie moreso than the ethereal Gambino talk of the Mutant Academy contemporaries, all revolving around a strong Richmond core. Now with a small following built for the past two years, Flexico finally released The New Flexico Album in early April.
Much like with many of Richmond’s emcees such as Fly Anakin (Backyard Boogie), Michael Millions (Hard To Be King), and his mentor Nickelus F (Stuck), Flexico gives thanks to the city that made him, bending corners on Broad and Chamberlayne while walking through the violence of Southside. “Welcome to Virginia where niggas die at 26 / That mean I got a year left to get rich,” he calmly bellows on the reflective “Gabriel.” Flexico uses his voice as an instrument over the Namebrand-produced beat, as the rising strings and harmonies elevate into something euphoric.
It’s that malleability that makes the enigmatic Flexico one of the city’s most exciting acts. Astonishing to think that he’s been rapping for under three years, but he’s able to alternate between lo-fi trap, dusty soul loops, and dynamic hi-hats. The production contains a mix of names in the local scene, including Nickelus F himself (who is also featured on the track “YahAye!”), crate-digging extraordinaire Ohbliv, and Bandolero, who handles the bulk of the productions.
Ohbliv would get the nod to two of the album’s crucial highlights: “Skratelikedat” and “Alone.” The former bubbled as the lead single for over a year until the release date, adding to the producer’s already rich catalog. Flexico does what he does best with his southern drawl melting into the grainy guitar background synths, king shit talk while wining and dining on a chick that probably hangs around Highland Springs. The beat switches over halfway through into a funk crescendo that is a perfect match for the two.
Flexico will continue to converge the eras of Richmond rap together throughout the album his influences. Interludes will trickle between the tracks interloping verses from Three Six Mafia, OutKast, Lil Wayne, and Nas, while bringing the past and present of the city’s sound together. Along with Nickelus F, Red Rum, Segga Spiccoli, and Michael Millions are among the few that make appearances. They all deliver strong performances on the record, but it’s mostly Young Flexico’s story to tell.
The New Flexico Album makes due to the versatility in Richmond’s hip-hop scene, bred out of being in the middle of the genre’s most defining eras. For Flexico, he’s ready to bring his unique blend of drip ‘n soul onto the bigger stage, but not without reminding everyone that he got it out the mud.
The New Flexico Album by Young Flexico is out now via Green & Gold Global, and is available to purchase over at iTunes.