'LOCKDOWN Again?' - Krayziesoundz [TRACK REVIEW]
A Malaysian hip-hop track with UK grime backbone, producer AMEYY seamlessly molds two intercontinental influences to create an explosive beat.
RELEASE DATE: 1 JAN 2021 GENRE: GRIME / HIP HOP
Hip hop has become even more transatlantic this past decade. Grime and drill are not exclusively American or British anymore, and American rappers feature on British albums as much as vice versa (looking at you, Slowthai, Kenny Beats & A$AP Rocky). It makes sense that the global tides of rappers like Skepta and Headie One will eventually wash up on our shores.
But that doesn’t mean I didn’t approach this track with some modicum of hesitation, seeing that precedents of appropriation and borrowing from elements belonging to a different culture always bear the risk of coming off awkward or bland, even when there is no exploitative problem with cultural dynamics. After listening to 'LOCKDOWN Again?', however, all caution was thrown to the wind. This is no half-baked imitation of a genre, it’s AMEYY the producer dishing out one of his most nuanced and in-your-face beats.
On the surface, it’s braggadocio grime through and through. The execution of every bar hits the mark, seamlessly flipping between Malay, English, and a sprinkling of Afro-Carribean East & South London twang without crossing the cringe line, except for a few 'tings' here and there. The topic of rappers adopting accents from other cultures is a big one, but I'd say that appropriation doesn't really happen in this track because by the time it gets too East London-y they switch it back like a smooth operator to Malay or English
The beat is deceivingly bare bones at the beginning like a Skepta template, but the production quickly picks up in speed and intensity. The electronic bleep bloops add a wackiness to the sound. High-octane beats complement every percussive line like a digital storm. Even the ad-libs add character, particularly the vocal samples.
’LOCKDOWN Again?’ has a beat that constantly builds upon itself withgradual finesse, reaching a satisfying point in the sound that’s part-hardstyle/part-drill during NVKA’s section.
If I had to nitpick, one criticism towards this track would probably be YungMana ending three consecutive lines with the same word (Day 1). But you know maybe there’s a hidden subtext to it (Coz every day be feeling like Day 1? The same day again and again? You get me? John Boyega's voice said that in my head). It’s still delivered with a punchy attitude and ends pretty satisfyingly with ‘a dewan’ rhyme. Anyway, little things like that can’t pull down 'LOCKDOWN Again?' since everything else about it is almost immaculate - Eylsoul & Ninjaboi’s verses being two of my favourites.
'LOCKDOWN Again' feels as inescapable as the subject matter it covers. A banger that is so easy to leave on repeat that it would naturally bring the house down. ---- Krayziesoundz is an independent label music group based in Kuala Lumpur & Ipoh, Malaysia. The group has grown - from being established by Ameyy Afiq and Eylsoul abck in 2012 to currently having 12 members comprising producers, emcees, DJs and multimedia-mancers from all over the country. Besides producing their own music , the members of Krayziesoundz are also engineers and producers for local acts such as Altimet, Hunny Madu, Eyza Bahra, Jin Hackman, Airlfitz and more.