Taking the very heart of classic hip-hop – the mellow yet bass-heavy beat, the somewhat haunting, repetitive riff running consistently in the backdrop, the simple yet memorable hook – this latest release “RIP Johnny Kage” from BabyKage.
The track’s mix places that leading electronic riff quite high, occasionally taking focus away from the rap vocal, but at the same time creating this hypnotic and defiant musicality that surrounds you much like any down-tempo EDM track might. On top of this, the varying rap vocals between chorus sections showcase a string of ideas and characters. The story telling varies, the verse coming in at around the almost two minute mark offers up a fairly dark scene, a mellow yet gritty performance presents these lines that grab your attention effectively. Following this, the beat kicks back in and the structure of the whole piece really influences the way in which each moment is received.
The journey throughout this release, the extended mix in particular, showcases a phenomenal level of detail and sound exploration. The core of the sound is always present, the rhythm, the pace, the synthesized wave of notes. Alongside of this though, the release presents a structure that throws in more than a few snippets of alternate reality, occasionally making for something that feels much more like a multi-sensory experience than simply audio. There’s a touch of spoken word, a few moments of industrial breakdown alongside the smoothness, and there are definite instances of grit and emotion that provoke intense thought.
The musical energy of the piece sets an appealing mood, and the tone and performance style of that leading vocal makes you feel as if something important is happening. It’s likely to bring listeners through to seek out more releases, more ideas, from the artist behind it. That inspiring and uplifting element is addictive and pretty essential in life, particularly during trying times. The rhythm and flow of the vocal work well as an additional instrument, even before you catch the story line, and that alone makes the whole thing pretty satisfying.
The track’s title and concept lead you to consider the music in a certain way. The intensity that builds and builds throughout reminds you of the passion and dedication involved in loving someone unquestionably, the overwhelming effect this can have on you, the rush it can bring. Story-line aside, BabyKage’s music is the sort you can rely upon again and again to hit hard just when you need it – that essential escapism, that all-encompassing sound that makes you feel alive and ready for anything. The added benefit is the intricacy, and in this case, the intimacy of the concept. There’s passion and power to it all, bringing the production alive, showcasing variety and creative freedom as well us undeniable precision and skill in crafting a two minute plus piece of music – particularly one that never fails to captivate from start to finish.