Flowers – [William Crooks]

Having a certain quirk about oneself as a working musician and/or performer is certainly an important characteristic to incorporate into one’s artistry, but it’s an entirely different story when an act transcends the idea of familiarity and enters what can only be considered their own distinct and unmatched lane. 

It’s blatantly obvious that Willaim Crooks is completely of his own as an artist; you would be absolutely kidding yourself if you said otherwise. This unbridled and incredibly resounding creative spirit is making a living out of coming through with hip-hip stylistics that not only have never been seen before, but perhaps never even conceptualized in the slightest. 

We’re dealing with an unhinged creative mind here, who is without question doing all he can to flaunt and communicate this completely of its own sense of artistry by applying it directly to the realms of pure and utter hip-hop. Though he has explored numerous sounds in this light throughout the past few years, nothing has come close to the ideal niche he has just recently placed himself in. 

That niche has come to light in the form of his brand new mixtape Flowers — a 22-minute romp through what can only be described as simply unfounded territories in the world of hip-hop and even beyond. Over 8 masterful tracks, he adequately places himself in a realm completely by himself, and maybe one that only he could ever truly enter. 

Flowers may come across as “controlled chaos” to some, but a far more fitting label to place upon it would likely be “precise chaos” — as the rough, sporadic, and extremely austacious sounds that fly all around the majority of the tracks on this project all seem to come together in the most ideally placed manner, as if Crooks basically went into it knowing where each exact moment of intuition could and should be applied. 

That feat in itself already proves enough as to the validity of his artistry here, but even his remarkable display of talent from the highest spectacle possible is enough to lend even more weight onto that fact. Crooks’s presence on the mic is as enigmatic as can be, crafting some absolute earworm-inducing passages all the while coming through with entertaining wordplay and outstandingly conducted flows and hooks alike. And one would be remiss to leave out his repeated instances of screaming on tracks like “SEE the LIGHT” and “Ecstacy,” which do nothing else but add to his seemingly endless repertoire of sounds he has at his disposal through the tape’s runtime. 

But even the most emphatic of tracks here stand in great contrast to songs like “Rainbows” — where his subdued and almost sentimental demeanor here works in perfect tandem with the solemn production provided by Crooks himself. “Mambo No. 6” may not be as laid back as the former example, but it’s simplistic status as a result of the straightforward yet gripping beat by Quickly, Quickly lets the listener take a break from the chaotic tendencies that lead up to the track while also letting Crooks flaunt his prowess on the mic without much else getting in the way. 

Quickly, Quickly also provides the instrumental to the TYGKO-assisted “move” — a cut that sees the acts provided trade exhilarating verses in rapid and entertaining fashion. Mohawk Johnson’s performance on the aforementioned “SEE the LIGHT” also accomplishes the same feat, this time over some raucous production by Aches. 

Each surrounding track here offers a dynamic taste of what can only be described as a limitless pallet of creativity that Crooks so impressively exudes throughout, which makes the tape’s short runtime feel like the absolute greatest eternity one could ever be faced with. 

The opening mantra that leads the entire project off states that “this is for Will Crooks fans and Will Crooks fans only,” but what many may not understand from the outset of this experience is that by the time it’s all said and done, anyone who was blessed with the opportunity to listen to this project all the way through WILL end up being a William Crooks fan as a result. It is completely reasonable to claim that by achieving this lofty accomplishment, he has effectively cemented his place as one of the most unforgettable and absolutely remarkable acts to carve their own spot into the legacy of 2020 as it is; for the years that follow, that notion will ring just as true as a result of this everlasting creative mind.