The 2000 yard stare is a term popularized during World War II to describe the broken and vacant look smeared across the faces of American soldiers. The “stare” was directly correlated with post-traumatic stress disorder, and was typically the earliest and most noticeable sign of a mental breakdown. 70 years later, The Knife, an emcee from Savannah, Georgia, produces an album bearing the same name, drenched in disgust, dissatisfaction, and self-loathing.
2000 Yard Stare is consistent, in that it never waivers from it’s theme of hopelessness and anger, all delivered with dark wit, and explicit descriptions of the inner workings of The Knife. Songs like “I Hate Myself,” and “Everybody Who Likes Me,” and “Bleed” delve deep into the mind of a depressive, worn out, disturbed soldier, teetering the line of insanity.
The Knife strings his words together carefully when describing his tales of noir. He’s definitely a strong penman, though his self-deprecating lyrics, specifically in “Don’t Know Why,” say otherwise. He’s no amateur, and he is fully aware and in control of his own keen writing ability. He’s obviously a battle rapper, and I’d bet that he’s pretty hard to match in that particular arena, just based on the underhanded sting, and the shear fearlessness to be absurd and politically incorrect. Judging from this album, he’s the kind of emcee that will deliver deadly blows, but eat every punch thrown back at him. A “make-grown-men cry” emcee.
The Knife’s, 2000 Yard Stare, the album, holds true to the 2000 yard stare, the syndrome. It’s lonely, and full of emptiness. It’s mysteriously frightening and psychologically a few steps left of center. The album is perfect if you hate sunshine. If you hate society. If you hate emcees. Basically, if you hate anything, you will love this. And if you love everything, you will probably still love this album. Just in doses.