I originally heard Morgan Francis Parriott, stage name CallMeKarizma, this past summer. Once I heard the deep, smooth rhythms, I was hooked, specifically on Karizma’s second studio album, “Loser,” which was released January 31.
The album’s first song, “Rage,” immediately hits you with a deep bass melody. The lyrics are reminiscent of other hip hop artists due to Karizma’s immediate jabs at politicians, particularly Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. The chorus exhibits an anti-establishment feel, repeating the lyrics “we just wanna rage.” The track’s use of natural hip-hop rhythm mixed with almost trap-sounding drum-and-bass highlights Karizma’s powerful lyrics.
The next track on the album, “Coolest Kid,” immediately switches gears, evident by the lighter melody that leads the song. Karizma even states in the song’s introduction that he “basically wrote this song to let people know that they are [expletive] awesome no matter who thinks they’re cool or not.” The song, with its don’t-care vibe, encourages the listener to think of themselves as the coolest kid.
“Loser” also touches on what seems to be Parriott’s struggle with mental illness. Karizma spits powerful lyrics about self-destruction and depression in the cuts “Edge of the Earth,” “45” and “I’m Alive, but I’m Not Here.” If each song had a central theme, it would have to be addiction for “Edge of the Earth,” suicide for “45” and depression for “I’m Alive, but I’m Not Here.” “Edge of the Earth” has a darker, melancholy melody, with Karizma spitting “drugs are bad they told me, but I’m sick of being lonely.”
The album switches back and forth between raw, emotional songs and lighter, more whimsical ones. This variation is almost too prominent if the tracks are playing through its normal order. However, it seems that the placement was intentional, matching happy and sad songs in order to keep the listener on their toes, leaving the theme of the last song in the air until the next one hits.
The two songs that stick out most on the album are “F U Till I F U” and “U Suck.”
“F U Till I F U” exhibits a slower, rawer tone than previous tracks and exposes some of Karizma’s attitudes towards relationships. The song’s lyrics speak of hating a relationship that has turned purely lustful, at least on Karizma’s end. Karizma states in the song “I hate you because you think that you are still in love with me.” This expresses his desire to move on from the relationship, but the refusal of his significant other to do so as well. This track is definitely one of the more explicit on the album, with the chorus dominated by F-bombs, but Karizma’s use of the double meaning of the aforementioned word proves his skillful poetic abilities.
“U Suck,” yet another track dealing with relationships, describes Karizma’s past significant other leaving him for someone new. Karizma’s anger and resent toward this past partner manifests throughout the song, and the powerful lyrics reflect his intentions. He even goes on to expose this person as a cheater without a second thought. Overall, this song is perfect for someone who is angrily getting over a relationship and wants a song to reflect it.
Overall, the album “Loser” perfectly executes Karizma’s rough-around-the-edges, sarcastic style. It definitely shows the musical growth from his Bandcamp and SoundCloud days, which were too DIY in their recording and mixing. Karizma’s breakthrough into more mainstream media is exciting, and I can’t wait to see what he produces next.