It’s been a while since I last heard a really good hip-hop release. Well, until today when I got to hear the brand new album by Becca Starr, and the album seems to come equipped with everything I like about hip-hop. What’s even better is I get to introduce y’all to this lovely release, so here it is!
The album, titled “Speak No Evil“, is an autobiographical tale coming the artist’s personal life, and it comes packaged with 10 songs, each telling a story of its own. As a multi-instrumentalist, Becca Starr has put an equally great amount of attention to the instrumental side of those songs, including elements than further exhibit the emotions written into lyrics. As a whole, “Speak No Evil” has great flow and passion along with wonderful and diverse instrumentals, and the stories are told in such heavily relatable way as she highlights all those thoughts with a right amount of nuances. Things like death, self-acceptance and growth as well as concern about the future are all multi-layered themes, and Becca Starr has handled them gracefully here.
Speaking of diverse sound, the album has everything from spoken word to orchestral arrangements and even sounds that immediately make me think of 8-bit video games. In fact, the album begins off with a spoken-word intro piece that acts as a a bot self-introduction and a warm-up to what’s to come. And there’s a lot to come – “I Forgot” is an introspective song looking at how traumatic experiences from childhood follow people into their adulthood and “Tides” is a political track tackling climate issues, expressing the artist’s frustration at the lack of action from people of power.
“Fear of Death” is not speaking of fear of death in that sense – instead it’s a song about fighting the sides in you that you know are toxic and harmful. It’s also a really incredible song, going from flowing verses into an indescribable climax of a chorus with no effort. “ITSDARKUPTHERE” is a much darker song though, written after a friend dear to her died in suicide, and the song unravels darkness and suicidal thoughts that she was left with. “I’ll Carry You (Bro)” is also a song of truth, speaking the artist’s mind on the less pleasant side of the hip-hop community, namely people who speak a lot of smack while giving very little contribution to the community themselves.
The following song, beginning with the 8-bit computer game melody, takes a turn back into the brighter side with shimmery synth chords and clicking percussion. Titled “First Step“, it is an energy-laden tune getting closer to a rock song and it goes all in to making the first step to improve yourself, the agitation and lashing out at people you feel should do the same, and begrudgingly understanding the notion of only being able to change yourself. “Half Of Me”, written together with fellow hip-hop artist Wee D, is a bit of a continuation to the previous story, as it’s an orchestral track observing the ongoing battle between two halves – the good and the bad.
The album ends with title track, the cathartic and emotionally revealing “Speak No Evil”. Soft and swaying by nature, the song is supported by acoustic guitar melodies and acts as a perfect closing song for all that was previously heard. It’s a mentally conscious song highlighting the importance of mental health and reminding that even when bad times happen and hit hard, good times will never fail to turn up. Nurture and embrace yourself, happiness lies within you.
“Overall, Speak No Evil is an exploration through the peaks and troughs of what makes me tick, makes me think and makes me suffer. It’s groovy for a reason, no matter how crazy the world gets, it’s still beautiful. It’s still groovy. And the same should be said for every human life. Accepting the beauty and growth to be gained through adversity and pain, sometimes makes you a happier, healthier and stronger individual and ultimately, of more use and resource to others who may be suffering. Or struggling.”Becca Starr
“Speak No Evil” will be out on August 19th – pre-save the album now to be the first to sit back and enjoy. Cause it’s about to get strange, and really wonderful!
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This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator