Rap producers past and present obviously listened to all kinds of music while coming up. At the same time yesterday’s beatmakers upheld an expectation to stay within the genre with some leeway for R&B and Soul records. Any further exploration drew discontent among peers or, worse yet, dreaded sell-out branding.
Today’s new rules allows producers, especially younger producers, to exploit looser standards. These guys can go make Hip-EDM&bass or whatever the f*ck and, as long as they’re genuine and not chasing trends. Thus Lakim’s definitely a benefactor of modern song-making sensibilities.
The VA-based artist started out in Hip-Hop music. Then, within the past two years, gradually released beats listeners couldn’t quite put their fingers on. House, trap and juke influences found their way into his productions: expanding his range and fan base along the way.
This Is Her, Lakim’s latest LP, starts off full-speed with “Need Want.” This introduction puts listeners on notice about the album’s party-centric leanings with a clean mix. Then the following beats a consistent bounce Lakim cultivates to set his album and sound apart from the pack.
Catchy, poly-rhythmic percussion pepper each track alongside a full array of synths and cloudy pads. Heads should recognize plenty of samples as well. Yet Lakim’s original melodies effectively carry each song as they don’t ride on nostalgia to resonate.
This Is Her stands as a pretty strong listen if you need a break from this everyday rap stuff. The tracks consistently achieve a smooth, tender aesthetic so don’t go in expecting throwaways for M.O.P. This isn’t that kind of party.
Instead the beats ought to remind of these pretty Tumblr biddies thirst-trappin’ for the homeys. Lakim describes them as “feminine” and the shoe fits. Low, hard hitting sounds give each song a good knock at any rate. Apprehensive bros shouldn’t worry about losing their e-tough guy passes over this album.
At the same time a few mentions to personal favorites could steer the skeptical folks out there. “Contemplating” sounds like the most rap-able productiont of the bunch. However, that’s not to say it’s a rap record in the traditional sense. “Pay What You Owe” playfully mixes garage, house and trap over a couple of samples, most notably Nas and Ginuwine’s “You Owe Me.” “Angel’s Dance” combines juke and electronic music so footwork crews and two-left feet lackeys can enjoy it all the same.
This Is Her is just one of the latest albums to challenge the idea of genres in urban music. It’s not for everyone, which is great, since it delivers a steady wave of dance-ready tracks. One thing’s for sure, though. Anyone intrigued ought to at least give it a go below.