The best that rap has to offer right now isn’t content centered on hooks and predictable themes by any measurement – contrarily, it’s the provocative instrumental concepts and dynamic vocals that earn the most respect in the game. Arkadian is aware of this, and if he’s not, he sure does a good job of pretending like he is in the new single “Life of Arkadian,” which is currently out everywhere quality hip-hop is sold and streamed. Efficiently structured to focus more on the aggressiveness of his delivery than on the poppiness of a hook, “Life of Arkadian” is an autobiographical gem that just might be the most swaggering new single I’ve heard from an underground player in this scene lately.
This beat builds the tension epically but somewhat clandestinely, leaving Arkadian himself the keys to unlocking all of the catharsis in the second act of the song. I like how he paces himself in terms of the lyrical lashings he executes at the fever pitch of any given verse, mostly because it makes the statement he’s offering so much more emphatic than it would have been otherwise. He knows how to use rhythm and tone better than a lot of the mainstream players I listen to, and I think other critics are likely to notice this as well.
Watch the video for “Life of Arkadian” below
Swagger is the cornerstone of every successful rapper’s career, and although I can feel the confidence coming off of the microphone when Arkadian is handling these lyrics, he doesn’t sound eager nor overly intense with his vocal at all. If anything, he’s so much more relaxed than a lot of players would be in his position, and I get the idea that he probably thrives off of studio pressures a little more than his peers tend to.
Levelheaded instrumentally and designed to spotlight technique over flash, Arkadian’s “Life of Arkadian” is a treasure of a track with a music video just as enticing as any one of its beats. It’s relatively easy to be a picky hip-hop fan in 2022, and artists like this one are the true reason why. Arkadian showcases a street-style execution worthy of a more indulgent groove, and yet his disinterest in any sort of excesses here really makes me curious to find out what he’s going to compose next. No matter the tempo of his next single, I think his momentum is only going to gain steam and speed as the year presses on.