Ashnikko's transition into the "DEMIDEVIL" is seen immediately from the start of her newest project. This is her debut mixtape, in which sheAshnikko's transition into the "DEMIDEVIL" is seen immediately from the start of her newest project. This is her debut mixtape, in which she starts to part ways with the dark horrorcore/trap sounds of her EP and single releases she came up on in the hip hop community, for a more refined "trap-pop" sound. It efficiently balances a sound somewhere between the catchy hip hop/pop melodies of Rhianna and the rough electronic trap influence of her contemporary rapper/friend Danny Brown, whom she opened for on his Atrocity Exhibition tour. This is as clear as day with the flawless track run of the first three songs, in which “Toxic'' is my personal favorite. “Daisy” is the album’s opener and Ash’s best big hit so far. Encapsulating some of the main themes of the album, it is a trap anthem for shy girls that are afraid to show their worth. Here, Ash shows us that she was one of these women, but now she isn’t afraid to scream who she is at the top of her lungs over some of the hardest production of the year, as well as 2020. She also sets you up for her not so shy lyrics, peppering her “freaky” bars throughout to really give you a glimpse of how crazy she is. It truly feels as if she is transforming into this “DEMIDEVIL” right in front of you.
If “Daisy” is the transformation, then “Toxic” is the answer to why Ash has seemingly become this “DEMIDEVIL.” It cackles at the normality of being toxic in a relationship,but in a more general sense just being a hater to anyone that is doing better than you. This track immediately stuck with me personally as I believe her word diction and lingo, “Begging for a dime, I’mma throw you a fiver,” really shines and is utilized to its fullest potential on a song that could keep going for a couple more minutes and I wouldn’t get sick of it. Ashnikko switches with ease between rapping with charisma constantly adapting a new kilter but off kilter flow, singing attention grabbing smooth as butter melodies and slowly rolling out a song structure that gets more complex with every second of run time on the track. “Toxic” production wise sounds like something G.O.O.D Music would have created with Rhianna back during the Cruel Summer days. There is a sweet but demonic vibe that is coated with xany samples embedded throughout it’s length. This will very soon be an apparent sonic choice for Ash on the project.
The idea is fully realized on “Deal With It ft. Kelis” in which Ash details a toxic relationship that she is finally done with, and being satisfied to finally have made it out on the other side. Meanwhile, her ex is still trotting in what was and holding on for dear life because he can’t grow up and see how bad it actually was. This internal rage that wants to break loose from Ash’s psyche is perfectly presented with the Kelis sample that leads into every chorus and break. “I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!” The production on this track is a monster, with such bizarre sounds and vocals mixed throughout like the oh-oh-oh-ohoh that is ran through a vocoder with an elephant blowing its trunk directly after. Then Ash brilliantly riffs over a trap section with some hard hitting brass samples behind it. It just all comes together geniusly. Albeit, it clearly can be construed as the labels answer to a stereotypical radio song. But to that I would say Ash puts all of her personality and weirdness into it to create something that can stand on its own while emulating billboard qualities.
At this point, if you aren't on board with the vibe Ash is going for, then the next two tracks to follow will surely do nothing but stray you even further away. Although, I say to stick it out if you can, because it dives into some of the most unique sounds on the project...
(Full review available @BuckGotThoughts on Twitter)
Ashnikko is something to behold. On the outside she is very much someone who does not bear the appearance in the world she is visiting, but on the inside just as crazy and sweet as we all can be. Coated throughout this thing is a gloomy demonic sweet tooth candy coated vibe just as Ashnikko is herself. In many ways, she reminds me a lot of when I first heard Chance the Rapper on Acid Rap. From the moment the project starts you are enveloped in this character’s world, the highs and the lows, the zaniness, crazy assortment of flows, the colorful production and vocals, and this grand feeling of something that is very minimalistic in nature. Of course Chance and Ashnikko are completely different artists externally as well as sonically, but there is a feeling they both give me on the inside. That there is an exceptional artist here waiting to manifest even more so than they already have, and that we are merely beginning the journey. This is a trip that I am strapped in for on the Demidevil’s back, and I’m sure that this isn’t even her final form.
Rating: Light 9/10… Expand