A lot of people think that it’s easy to make a good rap song these days thanks to the advent of the near-universal availability of cloud streaming, advanced production tech, and social networking to both amateur and professional artists alike, but nothing could be further from the truth.
It takes a lot of skill in front of and behind the soundboard to make something that people will want to roll with night in and night out, and those who are curious to hear a sampling of what that skill can render when its channeled properly should make a point in checking out “Life as a Farmer,” the new single from Shaheed and DJ Supreme that’s coming out this February. In this track, Shaheed and DJ Supreme demonstrate the fruits of their recent collaborative work together and bring in one of the hottest beats in the underground to round out the mathy hook they’re discharging at a rather relaxed tempo. The idea that this winter was going to be an underwhelming time for contemporary hip-hop is swiftly dismissed upon hearing this song for the first time, and for me, it couldn’t have arrived at a better moment in the season.
There’s nothing recycled in these beats; from top to bottom, “Life as a Farmer” feels original and unrelated to anything currently rocking the mainstream side of the hip-hop spectrum, which isn’t something that I’ve been able to say about a lot of similarly designed content lately. Catharsis runs wild within the bass, drums, and vocal tracks, and through this buoyant delivery of the natural hook in the song, we never feel bombarded by the muscly rapping in the lyric-driven portion of the track.
Words like multidimensional come to mind even in casual listening sessions with “Life as a Farmer,” as the cerebral undertow in the rhythm is a constant presence no matter where we look in this song. If we take away the verses altogether, we’re still left with something that isn’t just an evocative work but is a proper depiction of what it feels like to get into a beat – even when you’re the one bringing it to life.
Retro culture has been influencing hip-hop a lot as the years have pressed on, but this has got to be some of the most focused non-throwback material that I’ve heard from the burgeoning underground in a minute. Shaheed and DJ Supreme are getting in touch with their inner experimentalists here, and hitting heavy beats out of the park like it’s second nature. I’m eagerly awaiting the release of future singles the pair have slated to debut soon, and once you give “Life as a Farmer” a spin and check out its companion video, I think you’ll share my enthusiasm.
This is a particularly exciting time for rap, and with artists like Shaheed and DJ Supreme at the forefront of an emerging generation of musical masterminds who know no creative boundaries at all whatsoever, we can rest assured that boring beats and trite tonality will have a formidable opponent as 2023 presses on.