Nudism, sex and drugs. It would be very tempting to confine New Orleans rapper/singer/songwriter/Nephilim (?) Mary Gold to those three things, but that wouldn’t serve her artistic persona a damn bit of justice. Granted, the intoxicating artist did release a project titled, Sex Hormone’d Druggie, but titles are for show, in my opinion.
SHD was easily the most interesting work I listened to in 2013. Whether it’s Gold’s sexy drawl, the winding production, her slurred bars or seemingly constant pining for drugs, sex or fucking liberation, I simply couldn’t stop listening to it.
I first heard Mary Gold on Curren$y and Jet Life’s Red Eye Mixtape, on “Prayer,” featuring Curren$y. “Hopefully, I don’t die/Hopefully, I don’t sink…,” Gold utters over a haunting beat. And while the song caused my heart to skip a few beats, the video was all of that and even more. The 22 year-old is clearly talented, but is so raw that it hurts. One could very well get the sense that she doesn’t want to be refined; that her jagged approach isn’t quite calculated, but certainly embraced. Her lyrics may be described as “creepy” by some, but those are generally folks who want status quo, especially from a female artist.
SHD is very diverse in terms of sound, but one could get lost in the maze that is Mary Gold. “Druggie Girl” is a very uptempo song, with Gold telling listeners, “Turned me onto the ballgame, I’mma hit her” before sounding eerily similar to Macy Gray, singing, “Baby boy, you better have some dough, if you wanna be with me…” A very smooth drug reference is heard on the LA Beatz-produced “Threesome” as it shouldn’t be difficult to figure out what Gold means by “Threesomes in my living room” after she paid ode to “white girl” and “Mary Ann.”
The guitar-heavy “Needy” is a lovers’ anthem of sorts, if those lovers were heavily under the influence, and “Grand Theft” is dangerously close to “mindfuck” territory. I don’t know what Gold meant by “All my niggas look like Jesus/So you know she tryna fuck,” but it doesn’t matter, because it fit Diggable Slim’s production and Mary’s style.
While “Prayer” was my favorite track on SHD (It was on Red Eye Mixtape to serve as an intro to Mary Gold) for a while, it didn’t take long before the Rmur-produced “Coup De Ville” became my go-to song. It’s not even three minutes long, but I didn’t care then, and I still don’t care now. Set over a steady bassline and a saxophone that just won’t fucking quit, Gold takes the listener on a journey through their city. Motherfucker, just ridin’ around…ay.
Not everyone will be a fan of Mary Gold, and even fewer will be a fan of Sex Hormone’d Druggie. But, everything isn’t for everyone. So if you can’t reconcile in your head a southern singer/songwriter/rapper/whatever she wants to be, whenever she wants to be it whose manipulated vocals will do more than their part to scare the life out of you, don’t venture in her direction. I love how fresh her music sounds, no matter how “unconventional” it may be. And I hope that in 2014, she continues to deliver the ether. Mother Mary, oh, mother Mary…