Anthony Cruz has been on a high lately and we’re not talking about “hand-rolled cigarettes.” Cruz is on the cusp of fully unleashing his newest project Fear and Loathing in New York City and the reception so far has been nothing but positive. The buzz is nearing its summit and it seems like Cruz can’t stop smiling–not that he ever has.
Fear and Loathing in New York (FLNYC) is Cruz’s most comprehensive effort to date. The rhymes are on point and the versatility of the album is astounding. Inspired by the Hunter S. Thompson’s classic, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the album is indeed an audio acid trip. Although FLNYC contains a fluid storyline, the nature (and overall sound) of the narrative is characterized by its changeability. These narration shifts are most welcome. Despite the “Fear” in the album’s title, Cruz shows absolutely no fear with such songs as “Wondering” and “God Save New York”.
In all honesty, FLNYC is a lot to process, but there are at least six songs that need to be listened to at least three times over before moving on to the next tune: “Fear and Loathing in New York City”; “Dreamscape”; “Enjoy the Ride”; “Wondering”; “New York Straight Talk”; “Moon Matrix”.
“Fear and Loathing in New York City” is a spectacular, titular track. “Dreamscape” is an early hint at the versatile appeal of album. “Enjoy the Ride” is adorned with a creepy and plaintive chorus that is beyond infectious. “Wondering” is jaw droppingly different from any song on the album. “New York Straight Talk” is self explanatory, and “Moon Matrix” is a back alley track that drops a shitload of science and street smarts.
Weathering a rainy day, we met up with Cruz at Sara D. Roosevelt on the Southside of Houston Avenue where we discussed the artistic journey involved in FLNYC, his process, and the amount of care that went into the album.
Akeem is our founder. A writer, poet, curator and profuse sweater, he is responsible for the curatorial direction and overall voice of Quiet Lunch. The Bronx native has read at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, KGB Bar, Lovecraft and SHAG–with works published in Palabra Luminosas and LiVE MAG13. He has also curated solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries in Chelsea, Harlem, Bushwick and Lower Manhattan.