Stik Figa, As Himself
A short but comprehensive introduction to an engaging, hard-working everyman MC
For hip-hop fans who value authenticity, Stik Figa is as real as it gets — it’s just that for him, reality is an ordinary-dude life in Topeka, defined by pragmatic goals and modest honesty. Originally locally-released in 2009 and picked up for wider distribution after some productive collaborations with Oddisee, the fittingly titled As Himself is a short but comprehensive introduction to an engaging, hard-working everyman MC. With an easygoing voice that glides through finely detailed, scenario-setting lyrics, he finds insightful personal angles on daily-grind things — the elusiveness of aspirational materialism (“Flaudgin”), the community-anchoring nature of the local mom-and-pop shop (“Corner Store”), growing up self-aware of his childhood awkwardness (“Class of 2000″) — while still coming correct on big-picture material like the Aaron Neville-invoking Great Recession study “Medicine.” Producer Michael “Seven” Summers bolsters the album with sinuous funk that splits the difference between box-Chevy South and Rhymesayers-style Midwest, making an unpretentiously perceptive rapper sound even more down-to-earth.