Recording a Hip Hop album independently, without atypical glorified attempts at creating modern day chart busters can sometimes present unexpected trade-offs. Artist / Producer ‘Flywavez’ accurately presents this bargained reality in the artist’s most recent effort, Blue Light High (musical/instrumental production by Los Angeles based Mr. Kooman and Purps). The record is a serious and less trendy affair that can sit high in rotation for several years (an eternity in the Hip Hop industry) without sounding outdated or cataloged to a specific era.
Starting subtle with dashes of keys and Electronica, Blue Light High immediately introduces a slow, but steadied ride that relics a constant, if not detached quality all through. Albeit with cannabis references, sex, and surviving in urban blight, there’s a smooth dim slide to this album that seems to relax the listener though much of it’s lyrical content should be a bit stirring.
“Disfrute”, introduces us to this album’s late-night intoxicating aura, followed by “No Reggie”, which is a more traditional rap-styled song. This is probably the most stylistic change from one song to the next during the whole collection. Track #4 is a more memorable song that places the listener in the driver’s seat in almost any single, straight male traveler’s lonely aspiration… a “One Nighter”.
Aurally, Blue Light High’s foundation is an album that fills both ears with less abrasive, softened grooves versus penetrating or boomy instrumentation. Like most Hip Hop endeavors, the album does happen to necessitate a tap of the foot…but all the while there’s a constant reminder to unwind. The odd horn or backing vocal comes sparingly, lending just enough aid when they do come to light. Neither of the aforementioned stick around for very long. The mix is based on creating atmosphere much more than pruning outward hooks. The vocals are hypnotically low and characteristically on point, while dynamics are wisely chosen over decibels. Vocals, keys, and bass are pleasingly laid to a relaxed and fat-bodied air that seems to float the listener through, rather than having them travel all by their own psychological effort.
“Daddy”, is the album’s most catchy. The lyrics speak of taking in young females under a fatherly wing only in hopes of seducing them. The words in this one rhyme on a slightly perverse note that also presents a slight shade of humor.
From start to finish Blue Light High is a cohesive episode that lends credit to that balanced, trading pledge first brought to attention. The model here clearly isn’t to gamble on a Hip Hop creation that could turn out to be more or less a collection of superficial time-stamps some ten or fifteen years down the road. Instead (and by premise) the notion is to occasionally sooth the listener while they swing, carrying them adrift in the years to come. Arguably, because of the latter Blue Light High may be ahead in its own game.
Ian Billen –