It's old news that Spooky Black is now going by his real name, Corbin. The obscure Minnesota resident first released a track under this name last December, "Worn", which featured co-production from Shlohmo. To an extent the track suited what people expected, maintaining the overall eerie and hazy beats which was evident through Black's Leaving EP. This quickly led to anticipation of something greater, when 9 days ago Corbin teamed up with Bobby Raps to bring us Couch Potato. Still in awe, this album maintains what we heard in "Worn", but then pushes it a few steps further, quickly creating a staple for you music collection as well as becoming a potential threat to the "Sad Boy" collective.
Maybe threat is a poor choice of words, if anything Corbin and Bobby Raps become the next level USA counterpart to Yung Lean, which is most definitely a great thing.
The 6 track, masterfully crafted, album opens up with "Welcome To The Hell Zone" which is a great precursor to what's to come. Bobby Raps opens with frequent, yet subtle, pop culture references which quickly form into the story of a lone wolf. Ending his verse with a response to Corbin's question, "Are you scared of dying?", with an echoing "Death ain't shit but a new adventure." Corbin picks up with references to depression and suicide, as he fades away and sings "I could be Alone, why wait". The track has a deep underlying meaning and maintains the tone that anyone would expect from past records. "Frozen Tundra" picks up with with the relevant story of a cold world that only grows colder and the imperfections of love, which everyone can relate to on some extent. The theme and meaning of the record deepens further with "Torment". Seemingly to be about how quickly people can fail, whether it be at life, love, or specifically the music industry, and how what we hear from others and read throughout daily life can torment one and drive them to insanity.
Three tracks in and the plot thickens. It became clear to me that this is a story, the content of the songs, the track titles, and how they somewhat meld into a continuous story. Following "Torment", Corbin and Bobby Raps dig a bit deeper and specifically "Blame The Internet" as a source of torment, as the track title suggests. Specifically hitting the notation of how the internet has evolved to become such a massive part of our lives. People can cross paths online and fall in love almost instantly, while on the other hand something like this may never happen. There are people day in and day out that you will cross paths with unintentionally, and there are people, whoever they may be, that you will never meet, and there is nothing you can do about that. It's a strange subject to think about, maybe if you had liked her instagram picture your entire future would've been different. Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but it's definitely something that could happen in today's society. "The Depths" seems to be a scene painted by Bobby and Corbin, a place precisely, a place in which these two artists remain and keep their hopes low and question "What if all of this is a waste of time? Hell is just outside, Heaven is a state of mind."
Mid track Corbin screams out that he feels that he's already dead, to be followed by a two minute silence. The silence breaks with a change of tempo and what seems to be echoing bells, all of which could possibly symbolize the rebirth of Corbin, leaving Spooky Black in the past.
The album closes out with "Burdened", a track that exploits a deep sadness. Corbin tells the story of a boy who sees a girl who doesn't love herself. This boy willing to take her cuts and pain, to relieve her of her pains and sadness. Bobby picks up sharing a life full of burdens and regrets, much that many of us can relate to. Bobby's verse in this track is stronger on so many levels than the rest on this album. The emotion, whether it be anger, sadness, or both, really shines through and comes forth and closes out this 25 minute journey through a life of sadness on this cold world.
Whether this is truly the death of Spooky Black or not, Corbin and Bobby Raps carve out a wild, emotional, ambient experience for all listeners. There is something in this project that everyone can relate to on some level, something that will make one look back and better themselves. These artists as a duo have come together to create something so profound. We can only hope that these two continue to work together, further defining themselves and bringing us more untold stories. Corbin and Bobby Raps will take the stage at Bowery Ballroom in NYC on Sunday, July 12th. Tickets can be purchased here.