DJ L-Spade, K. Rider, and Escoth are Displaced
By DJ Marc Antomattei
1530 JST April 6, 2018
So I reviewed some music from DJ L-Spade (real name Marcus Johnson) years ago. Without even going back to read that previous review, based on recollection alone I can remember quite a bit of what I said about it then. In short I thought it was fire overall. Just based on his style and voice I thought he sounded as if he could be a long lost member of Three 6 Mafia. He has that Memphis vibe and air about him, only his music is not as dark. Being from Memphis but based in Greater Tokyo, he fell into the trap that many foreign artist do sometimes, that is mixing English with Japanese raps. From my perspective, I feel that doing that alienates either respective audience from half the song they won’t understand. My advice was to do the music in strictly one language, and I think English is definitely the language that’ll progress and project it further along. To say the least, this new album is all English.
I was solicited just recently for my opinion on new music coming from L-Spade’s camp “Displaced”, and I’m proud to have been reached out to for my honest opinion. If something’s hot garbage I’m going to call it that. Glad that’s not the case here. But I knew it wouldn’t be. I know this crews rhymes, hustle, grind, workflow, and production value, so I wasn’t expecting anything substandard.
So what is it exactly? For those who don’t know, Displaced is a record label here in Japan that releases music from three label mates, DJ L-Spade, K. Rider, and Escoth. Not only is it the name of the label, but now the group collectively featuring all three members. Displaced the group will release their first mini album together on April 10th, 2018. The 6 track EP titled “Trifecta” is a nice showcase of all the members abilities on the mic as they are now.
You have DJ L-Spade who although he has that southern twang, has light hearted comical lyrical content like Ludacris or Eminem that doesn’t take itself too serious. It’s a parody of ultra macho rappers. On the second track “Displace Like”, L-Spade raps “I’m a battle rapper that never got tested, the only alter boy that never got molested. I’m into raw dogging girls, and when they get pregnant I take them to the abortion clinic and ask a bunch of questions. What I’m saying is I’m the wrong guy to mess with. I piss in your punch bowl, don’t put me on your guest list.”
Escoth is the smoothest deliverer of lines amongst the three while K. Rider is the anchor of balance in the middle. These guys are different styles that play well together. The production and music itself can range from anywhere between quirky to smooth, banger to boom bap, and it sounds good paired with these guys voices. My only gripe if I have one, the opening track “Goin in” sounds a little underproduced at times but still is passable overall because the raps are that good. The other five tracks sound pretty well mixed and as a whole I like the album.
I’m that guy from the 90s who knows what real rap should sound like and can tell you. It’s not that dime a dozen bs in which every rapper and their momma are autotuned out and mumbling everything they say. I like clarity in my hip hop and rap, I like to be able to understand what everyone is saying 100% of the time. It’s refreshing to tell you these guys tick all the boxes and are big league to me.
These guys are the best rappers in Japan now. The G-Unit of Japan if you will. There was another prior to Displaced (not associated with the label) who had left the scene here by the name of B. “Streets” Riley. Although Streets had the best production values of anyone to ever set foot on this Island (which still have not been surpassed even today), lyrically these guys top him out. Their come up has been great thus far, and they still have time and ample room to grow even more.
“Trifecta” by Displaced drops April 10, 2018 on Spotify
1. Goin in - Dj L-Spade, Escoth, K. Rider, Momo Funk, Teddy Robz
2. Displace Like - Dj L-Spade, Escoth, K. Rider
3. Rule - Escoth, Dj L-Spade, K. Rider, Big Yo
4. Abstart - Dj L-Spade, Escoth, K.Rider, Lina Lobo
5. Higher Elevation - Escoth, Dj L-Spade, K. Rider
6. Weird story - Escoth, K. Rider, Dj L-Spade
Other Recommended Listening
DJ L-Spade - L-Spadiea 
DJ L-Spade - Fake News 
K. Rider - I Am Chiba 
B. "Streets" Riley - Tokyo Nights II 
© 2018 Marc Antomattei Productions