Holland Witherspoon, AKA Mr. Envi

Written by on April 25, 2013 in April 25, 2013, CD / DVD Releases, Music and DVD Reviews, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Holland Witherspoon, AKA Mr. Envi

Holland Witherspoon, AKA Mr. Envi

Holland Witherspoon, AKA Mr. Envi’, is a Louisiana based rapper, producer and label owner. His Southern Stisle Records has become the home base for Mr. Envi’s recordings, and his last two albums have met with significant success. Rydaz Redemption (2011) debuted at #3 on the CMJ Hip Hop add charts, and Kollaborationz (2012) helped Mr. Envi’ maintain that momentum. Mr. Envi’s last, Point Of No Return, is a statement album, meant to catapult Mr. Envi’ into the national scene.

The opening strains of Point Of No Return sounds like it were drawn from a horror movie soundtrack. Paranoid listeners might be looking for Jason to jump out around the next corner. It’s an appropriate motif for the EP, although the fear faced by Mr. Envi’ is more about getting caught up in the street life and never escaping. That’s the suggestion of the album intro, yet Mr. Envi’ spends much of the EP celebrating his presumed past.

“Where You From” is right out of establishing street cred central. Territorial considerations, gang violence and misogynistic or otherwise anachronistic racial epithets are used to create substance where storytelling is absent. “Re Up” has a bit more thought behind it, as Mr. Envi’ tries to underline his more human qualities. The passive vocal/rap style leaks some of the potential power of his words, and the attempts at a sung chorus turn unfortunate.Holland Witherspoon, AKA Mr. Envi

Mr. Envi’ shows a more poetic aspect on “Skit”, displaying a real sense of lyrical rhythm. It’s an entertaining side bar that serves as a transition to a more coherent style as evidenced on “Back It Off.” Here Mr. Envi’ shows a real pop sensibility hand in hand with a stylistic lyrical flow that is his own. “Laura” is an in your face promise to steal another man’s woman, such as it is. There’s a taunting, adolescent quality to this that’s mildly amusing in and of itself and Mr. Envi’ plays it to the hilt. Point Of No Return closes with a spoken word “Outro” that’s more trash talking rant than anything else. Mr. Envi’ shows off his sense of humor here while effectively book ends his songs with a promise to bring music back to the way it once was.

After a slow start, Mr. Envi’ warms up nicely on Point Of No Return. It’s hard at times to parse the humor from the ridiculous, as Mr. Envi’ seems to like exploiting stereotypes in his songs. The result is entertaining but at times uneven listening experience.

www.mrenvi.bandcamp.com

Artist: Mr. Envi’
Title: Point Of No Return
Review by: Wildy Haskell
Rating: 2.5 Stars (Out of 5)