Pepperboy embraces positivity and contemplation here and the approach really works for him. He isn’t the most technical emcee, his best asset is his earnest sincerity. On Days Of Grace that quality goes a long way toward making up for any deficiencies in style or delivery, and ultimately it becomes an end in itself.
In fact, the appeal of the EP lies mostly in Pepperboy just opening up and pouring his heart out. Theoretically some of what he raps should come off as corny or contrived, but his honesty and complete lack of cynicism win you over when you hear them. Even the outro, a literal love letter to Hip Hop set to the most obvious Phil Collins sample, somehow comes off as endearing instead of cliched. I’m not even sure how he pulls that off, but he does.
It’s tempting to credit some of the success of the EP to the strong beat selection, and that’s not entirely wrong either. Still, consider how many rappers use similar production these days without leaving even half of the impression that Pepperboy makes.
There is an interesting note on his bandcamp: PEPPERBOY FIRST ALBUM WIT OUT PROFANITY !!! I was curious about that and about the different direction this EP takes as compared to his earlier work. This is what he told me:
I wanted to make a album everybody could listen to and at tha same time spread a positive
message. Also the title is called “Days Of Grace”, I didn’t wanna make a harsh record wit such a spiritual title. I been rappin since 2002..puttn out street albums each year and as time progressed..my mind got older and wiser..so I just wanted to go a different route wit this album
There is actually a little more to that quote that I’m purposefully leaving out. This guy seems like he has a good story to tell, so I’m gonna interview him in the near future to get the whole thing. Stay tuned for that.