Crossovers are bigger than pure aesthetic tracks these days, and one could opine that hybrid genres are the very definition of pop music in 2022. Knowing this, it doesn’t really surprise me that a record like 148’s Sampati is generating the buzz that it is around the North American underground this year, being that it inelegantly mixes some of the best qualities in hip-hop, progressive R&B, trap, drill, and even neo-psychedelia into a sound truly unique to this act. If this is a look-at-me culture, 148 have got every attribute going for them in this intriguing debut album.
Although I could point to hints of indulgence in the likes of “Summer Breeze,” the cutting “Topeka Vibe,” and somewhat elongated “Bankulli (ft. Hod),” there are few instances in Sampati where it sounds like these guys aren’t trying to embrace the simple side of songcraft. “Body Rock” and “Odds” are the two best songs here because of their straightforwardness, not to mention their linear beats, and if this same concept could be applied to the most melodic of moments in the record, I think 148 would have a strong contender for one of the best debut efforts in hip-hop out of their scene this year.
If this is a good measurement of what 148 are going to be doing with their career, I believe we’re going to be seeing more of them south of the Canadian border in the near future. This is far too physical of a sound to avoid the ears of discerning hip-hop fans in America, and next to its localized competition, Sampati just sounds more radio-ready and style-forward than anything I’ve come in contact with lately. This is a young act for certain, but they’ve got potential they’re going after hard in this amazing selection of songs.