It’s Thursday, you know what that means.
Because the year’s coming to an end in the next 36 hours or so, I’m taking a quick break from SOTB.com until 2022. We’ll kick the new year off in style, for sure. After all, no pain no gain and all that good stuff. Here are some of the last bodies of work that’ll be featured on SOTB until the new year.
Elijvh – “Hot Fever”
I love that this one has a Prince-y vibe to it while also having a Weeknd feel to it. In other words, the beat’s funky and smooth and the vocals are smooth while having a bit of an edge to them. It’s an infectious track, one that had me bouncing around in my chair while listening to it the first time. I’m also a huge fan of the video, which kind of reminds me of MJ’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough” mixed with a bit of “Uptown Funk.”
KxneThaDemxn – “Life’s a Pain”
On the opposite side of the spectrum, you’ve got Kxne’s “Life’s a Pain,” a darker boombap track that features the artist speaking on some of the negatives in his life thus far (and how he’s going on past them–even as they seem insurmountable). It’s got a Mac meets Nas feel to it, mainly because of the storytelling aspects Kxne presents here and the realness to the track. This one appears on Kxne’s A Silent Warrior’s Return, which dropped on Christmas Eve.
GOOD FOR NOTHING. – “BELOW CLASS AVERAGE.”
This is another darker song, held together with a minimalistic beat and a pseudo-scream flow. It’s one of those songs that discusses the last year-plus and the things that’ve happened to GFN. I really enjoyed the bluntness exhibited within the song, as it doesn’t bite its tongue in its approach to discussing the last few years of his life. From tantalizing highs to deep lows, GOOD’s seen it all and he’s still standing despite the drops he’s seen.
Killer Tame and L Speaks – “Matte Black”
A quick track that features cutting lyricism over a darker beat, “Matte Black” features the duo (Tame’s the producer, Speaks, the rapper) firing off bars about Blackness, the darkness of the world and trying to survive in 2021/2022. I know it’s a bit wild that the last three songs have been a bit darker, considering we’re headed into 2022. However, you need the darkness to appreciate the light. “Matte Black,” for the lack of a better phrase, understood the assignment.
DEVMACCC – “Truth Be Told”
DEVMACCC lost his mother recently, something I can definitely relate to. During the grieving process, he started working on new music, adapting to his new reality. He mentioned that, while recording this song, he felt as if his mother spoke to him about things he needed to change about his life. This vibe comes out full force throughout “Truth Be Told.” It’s not like your typical SOTB feature, but it definitely got my attention because he speaks truthfully and honestly about his life.
Flash E Williams – “Really”
This one is a relic of the beginning of the pandemic, however it still fits almost three years into the pandemic. That’s because Flash wants the CREAM, but the Vid has made things a bit harder. The beat, produced by DJ Hadouken, is a slow burner and allows Flash to attack about his predicaments and how he’s going to improve on his situation.
Dax x Snow Tha Product – “A Lot at Stake”
This one’s a bit more upbeat than most of the tracks I’ve heard from Dax recently. It’s got his typical hard-hitting lyricism over a driving beat and a bit of an Autotuned hook. Snow delivers a typically stellar verse. I love the visuals, which feature Dax and Snow in a snow globe of sorts (seemingly a reference to their cold lyricism and the fact that it’s winter time) and an underground party at other points. It’s got a real ’90s rap feel to it, but the lyricism here? It’s definitely timeless, just like the vibe of the song. This one features on Dax’s Pain Paints Paintings album, where some of the other Dax tracks I’ve featured this year’ve come from.
See you in 2022 and remember to support dope music in all its forms.