“Bloody Murder” opens the foreboding round three of Nacho Picasso and Blue Sky Black Death’s collaborative journey that is appropriately titled Exalted, and it certainly sets the mood and tone for the record. Almost immediately, you can feel yourself spiraling into an underworld where drugs, crime, and a general disregard for order and laws rule the streets.
If the combination of Nacho as Moses and naked Native Americans bowing at his feet as the Kingdome falls from grace in the background — and here everyone thought that its demolition was caused by dynamite — aren’t enough to grab your attention, one listen will demonstrate that he is a funny dude. “Public Enemy” is an uber slow, bass-heavy track where Nacho’s third verse is especially eery given the recent spike in gun violence in the Seattle Metro area. Yet, his off-the-wall sense of humor lightens the mood slightly, with him saying “fuck a Maybach, I belong on a pirate ship,” that is tucked in between his self-descriptive chorus of being a “dirtbag degenerate,” a chorus that almost makes the listener feel as if Nacho and his BSBD cohorts will jump out and whoop your ass if they catch you laughing.
As easy as it is to focus on Nacho’s punchlines, with as many as there are and amusing as they are, Blue Sky Black Death’s production is equally as noteworthy. “Gothic thuggery” and “glacial trap” are some of the tags used for the album, and they aren’t that far off from production that otherwise defies most descriptions. For example, “4th of July” includes the layered, intricate instrumentals that BSBD has long been known and praised for, but their inclusion of highly heralded trap elements like the hi-hats and theatrical synths is practically otherworldly. With the diverse combination of Nacho’s dark humor and BSBD’s even darker beats, it’s simple to see why they chose the name of Exalted.
Stream the album in full below and purchase on Bandcamp to the tune of $5.