There’s minor drama seemingly always behind D-Risha, and we’re not talking about how his meta version of love, those guile “fuck D-Risha” chants follow him at every live show or performance. No, we’re talking about the giant weight of aspirations and hopes that a man who conveys bars and nothing but them. He can open for the world, new fans and old ones alike. To him, it’s just supply them with enough witty punchlines that are buffed with traces of rap history, locality and to a small extent, traces of geek and comic book mythology. They’re all him really. As quickly as he moved past the idea that he cribbed a few battle rap lyrics, he continued to release new material — some of it great, some of it a bit lacking. But he never quite gave up on what made him engaging in the first place.

His latest EP Gauntlet doesn’t run in a thematic way that 2011’s Big Trouble In Houston Texas did or last year’s 6 Demon Bag with his closest ally behind the boards in That Purple Bastard. It runs in an eight track format where punchlines are here in spades and the few times he shouldn’t have to toss alliteration and other literary forms of rhyme into the equation, he just flat out chills. “Coolin” with George Young & Hollywood Floss plans on grabbing a few Coronas and enjoying life while punctuating everything with a heavy handed metaphor or simile. As much of a Marvel nerd he is, Gauntlet makes small hints towards comic book ideology with “Sebastian Shaw”, a homage to the energy absorbing villain and leader of the Hellfire Club. Risha’s made tons of minor moves like this, not in a sweeping motion of taking over an entire character wholesale like RiFF RaFF or Lil B but just reminding people of certain comic book nerd moments.

Gauntlet is littered with socio-politicla moments, nothing that will raise a complete call to arms but attempt to raise awareness. There are slips where Risha overpowers the track all together instead of working within it but that’s typical of him. He wants to be heard flat out, live or not. And he won’t be behind anything and would rather let everything catch up to him.