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Review: Ronin Halloway - EXCALIBUR I & II

One rapper expresses a swirl of two personalities on his first double album while drawing influences from metal and U.K. Grime.

Ronin Halloway released Excalibur I and Excaliber II in late July. Before his release, the rapper released an EP, Pressure in 2019, and several singles. Excalibur I and Excalibur II were produced by Devin Burgess.

With Excalibur I, Halloway illustrates an angrier side, while Excalibur II is a demonstration of a more vulnerable side. By listening to the double album from start to finish, the audience can hear him battling between both personas. Although we hear the two personas in both albums, this is not the first time Halloway demonstrated this. In 2019, he released his first EP called Pressure. It was then when he teased this kind of artistic ability.

With his double album, Halloway officially birthed the two and used different musical styles such as metal and Grime (a faster version of hip-hop mixed with Jamaican and several other forms of beats), to fully express everything he has to say in a 2:45 song.

"EXCALIBUR'S beats are omnivorous," as stated in a press release. "Taking cues from Flying Lotus, Knxwledge and MIKE, Burgess's production flirts with the abstract, expanding and contracting around BPMs in free-falling fashion."

"Rap is like casting a spell, and I think it's a very sacred thing. I believe in expressing universal themes, and drawing from raw-nerve feelings and emotions," Halloway said. "Most importantly, I wish to acknowledge and express gratitude- I'm thankful and humbled to be a participant in this art form that belongs to Black People and Black Culture."

Stream Excalibur I

Stream Excalibur II