“Whatever the Case May Be” is Anwar Highsign’s Best Album Since the Moniker Change (Album Review)
This is the 4th proper full-length album from Philadelphia emcee/producer Anwar Highsign. Coming up under the original moniker Has-Lo, my introduction to him would be in 2011 through his solo debut In Case I Don’t Make It & the sophomore effort Conversation B. He then followed that up 6 years later in the form of A Singular Point of Light, but has continued to make his presence known by dropping 8 EPs as well as small handful of mixtapes & instrumental projects. But when I found out one of the best UK producers in recent memory Giallo Point was jumping behind the boards for Whatever the Case May Be, my anticipation for it was very high.
“Landlord” is a soulful boom bap opener to the album talking about leaving a Cuban link for his wedding ring & that he gon’ still shine no matter what whereas “That’s Regular” laces some pianos, kicks & snares assuring that he’s gonna do his thing while you do yours. “Cold Plan” instrumentally is a bit similar to the previous cut talking about all that he wants is just a Rolex & that he hit the jackpot leading into “Sun Gone Shine” working in some strings looking back on the days when there wasn’t friction between him & former friends.
Meanwhile, “God Tier” has some more minimal drums this time around attached to a twinkling piano lead admitting he thought all he had was them when they don’t have each other at all just before “Mirror” gets on some scary hours over a hair-raising beat. “Diminished Spirit” goes into drumless turf talking about how he ridin’ while the song “Naturalle” gets romantic over a smooth instrumental. The penultimate track “Omaha” with Henny L.O. returns to the boom bap as they have all systems on go & the closer “Wee-Bay Face” ends the album with a cold beat making it clear he says how it must feel empty in your skin.
From the moment I heard his verse on Atmosphere’s previous album WORD? because they just dropped a new one today too, I knew he would make a grand comeback of his own & that’s what he does with Whatever the Case May Be. Easily the best thing he’s done under the new moniker in my opinion. Lyrically, he’s the best he’s sounded since his first 2 albums & you know Giallo’s signature boom bap production never disappoints.