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Cash Lansky: Simplicity (Self-Released) 

On Simplicity, local MC Cash Lansky delivers a stellar debut, an album that explores self-determination, destiny and the hard work it takes to make it.

The core of Simplicity is Lansky's personal story, which plays out like a boxing film, emphasizing the endless training that leads up to the moment of arrival. Collaborating with a series of producers, Lansky pairs his rhymes—sharp, defiant and confident—with beats that range from smooth to spacey to bass-heavy.

Opening with sampled dialogue from John Carpenter's 1988 sci-fi film They Live, "World of Simplicity" delivers an introduction that lays out Lansky's hard-working positivity: "Please don't mistake my confidence for being cocky."

The album's strongest tracks—like "Enough Is Enough" and "Hard Times"—blend that confidence with more detailed stories of how Lansky came to rise above with music. Riding a beat filled with piano and saxophone, "Enough Is Enough" finds Lansky taking a realistic look back in time, turning away from petty drug dealing and sticking it to those who expected from him nothing but jail. "Hard Times" puts a spare beat behind Lansky's rhymes that explore the deeper motivations and focus behind his self-confidence and pride as an artist.

With local guests like kAZual and Runt, Simplicity is an album about living out dreams and what it takes to get there. Still, it's somewhat limited as such an inward-looking album, so here's hoping that Lansky's promising arrival represents just the beginning of his ambitions as a rapper.

More by Eric Swedlund

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