If there’s one thing people don’t know about me, it has to be this: I’m a sucker for a good voice and melody. For the longest time, I’ve been particularly touched by a particular style of music. This music is highly emotive. It takes me on a trip through an unfamiliar story and I always feel like I’m at home. I don’t know where this deep love comes from but it really has played a huge part in my music taste.
Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy was one of my favourite songs for a long time, so when my friend Siya offered to play me a song from an unknown artist, my heart stopped. “Lianne La Havas ft. Jess Stone – Crazy Cover” it read. Goosebumps spread across my skin, my heart beat a little deeper, and my attention was solely focused on the organised chaos that made it’s to my earholes.
To Zion by Lauren Hill gave me a similar feeling except it was a little deeper with Lianne. Sohn’s Bloodflows, Florence and the Machine’s Blinding, Bonobo’s One thing, and many many more. I went through a phase where I collected a lot of these types of songs. I even went through a little Coldplay/Linkinpark phase; only their newer work though (Lovers in Japan has to be my favourite Coldplay song). I was obsessed with the feeling these songs gave me. I’m sure I’ve aged my heart another 10 years because of it.
I’m a hip-hop fan first. In fact, I’m such a hip-hop fan that I decided I wanted to make some of my own (with my friends Snazz and Luda). Hip-hop has seen a meteoric rise in the amount of singing that artists actually do. We’ve had singing in rap for the longest time but this is unprecedented. I can’t credit one single person with this rise but Drake probably made it mainstream. Yeah, we could say that artists like Outkast, Kid Cudi, and B.O.B have played major roles in the establishment of the singing sect of Hip-hop but Drake took it to another level.
Now as a fan of both hip-hop and singing, you’d think that I’d be having a field day but I’m not. There are so many rappers singing right now that it is so difficult to enjoy singing tracks anymore. The problem is that these rappers are so good at making things catchy that I can’t seem to stop listening. One of my favourite rappers (K.O.) has a song where most of the hook is just him singing “ting-a-ling” and that’s honestly my favourite part of the song.
I can’t hate on all rappers though; some of them nail it. Big K.R.I.T’s Miss Georgia Fornia, for instance, is a firm favourite of mine. Okmalumkoolkat’s Ubhuti Ontsundu touches my soul every time I hear it. Both Cole and Kendrick’s earlier works have some of my favourite singing jams in them as well. Now I’m trapped. In a world full of rappers that sing do I join them and make my type of singing jams or do I sit back and let them do that as I try to bring rap back to the forefront of Hip-hop?