By Charlie Maybee
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Baltimore-based rapper 888moment closed out the year with a chill, but provocative new single titled “Foundations.” Featuring collaborators Gusto Mane and Kayrxn, it has the feel of a spilling stream of consciousness in the form of thoughtful rhymes that sprawl through an array of topics, but never stray from the confident drive of the vocals.
The absence of a chorus feels strangely appropriate for a track that seems more invested in the groove or feel than it does with lyrical content. In fact, the only lyrical motif that pops up more than once is a soulful vocal sample that sings “Black magic” between verses, which carries like a musical call that each rapper responds to in abundance.
888moment and company are living in the ebb and flow of the break, which demonstrates a commitment to the very “Black magic” that hip-hop embodies. Whether they are commenting on issues of white supremacy and mental health or noting obstacles they have overcome, there is a strength to the vocal delivery that is undeniably captivating.
This the kind of song that fans of J. Cole or Kendrick Lamar would find enticing. The steady rhymes that continuously thread into each other and a lean toward a contemplative, but relentlessly driving flow set this style of hip-hop apart from a more immediately mainstream approach. With “Foundations,” 888moment isn’t so interested in arriving at one familiar place but is rather taken the transitional blur that comes with a continual forward motion.
Foundations is available on major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud. Follow our Alchemical Weekly Spotify Playlist for more great music featured on the site.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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