If you feel like it’s been quite a while since we’ve heard from Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire, the Brooklyn rabble-rouser who emerged at the start of the decade with one of the most amazing posse cuts and mixtape covers of all time, you’re not wrong. His last release, the Kismet mixtape, came out all the way back in June 2013. But eXquire hasn’t fallen off the face of the earth, as he proves on an intriguing new EP entitled Brainiac.
Despite being remembered primarily for his alcohol-soaked braggadocio (lines like “Sex with one whore is deplorable, I need four at a time” from a stellar El-P/Danny Brown collaboration still stand out pretty clearly), there’s always been more going on under the surface of eXquire’s music. Take 2011’s “I Should Be Sleeping,” a pensive recollection of childhood, for instance, or Kismet’s paranoid “Never Running Again.” This weightier material hasn’t always been completely separate from eXquire’s more party-ready music, but the two have never been woven together as snugly as they are on Brainiac.
On the six-track project, eXquire addresses alcoholism (“Lost in the Sauce”), bipolar depression (“40oz at the Met Gala”), and perhaps even a bit of schizophrenia (“Manboy”), but injects all of these downward-spiraling tales with humor and charisma. It’s exactly where you’d expect the guy who spent 2011 drunk driving on Wednesdays to be six years down the line, and it’s all presented with such a level of candor and honesty that eXquire comes out seeming even more likeable despite all of the internal duress.
Brainiac features production from The Alchemist, Parallel Thought among others, and its sole guest verse comes courtesy of Meyhem Lauren. The project’s also accompanied by a video for “Manboy,” which you can watch below. Thankfully, eXquire planned this as the first in a series of EPs, so we likely won’t have to wait another four years for a follow-up.