Review: PS. 1995 by Trade Voorhees

Nicole Cormier | Aug. 25, 2016 | 4:45 a.m.

Bucking all the predictability its title suggests, Trade Voorhees’ latest effort, PS. 1995, refreshingly sounds nothing like the hip-hop of the ‘90s. Instead, the record adds a modern appeal to his stories from that era.

The seven-track EP starts as the MC/producer reflecting on the carefree days of the past filled with simplicity and it then shifts to him yearning for that sort of ease now. Filled with frustration, angst and justified boastfulness, Voorhees brings high energy to his careful delivery, and the layered production makes for a well-rounded sound.

The project, as a whole, celebrates the PlayStation era, specifically, the year of its release. The EP kicks off with the system’s iconic startup sound and then chronicles the rapper's love for music and the games that inspired his passion for it.  The first track, “Boot Up,” reveals that not much has changed in the past two decades, beyond the technology, when it comes to a gamer’s priorities. “Back,” which features Voorhees reminiscing on the always revered “back in the days,” is one of the catchiest cuts on the EP.

“DMK…They Want Us Dead” plays with a noted morbidity, which is contrasted by a lighthearted beat—something hardly unexpected from someone who calls himself “The rap game’s Stanley Kubrick.” The closing track, “Game Over…Crash’n,” changes styles several times in its whopping nine minute run time, and each pivot is equally engaging. The track serves as an ideal cliff hanger. When it's over, you wish it wasn't.

Voorhees concepts may be relatable and, on the surface, simple, but for a man who handles every aspect of the creation of his projects, "simple" isn’t even close to being a valid descriptor for his efforts. He is equally experimental with his lyrical expressions as he is with the beats, making for inimitable compositions overall. Despite what Voorhees says, he’s not “Just another rapper.”