Broward rapper Little Knife makes music as subtle and deadly as his namesake, and with his latest project SONGS OF SILENCE he’s tapped into a previously unseen well of emotional creativity. Taking cues from genre staples like XXXTentacion, the intro sounds like two battle-hardened warriors emerging victorious from all-consuming snowstorm. Producer Forty Nine Mistakes acts as the sonic maestro, his atmospherics making ‘YOUWILLREGRET’ the ideal introduction to the depth of Knife’s musical ambitions. It’s not all uber-serious, moOdy songwriting though, as ‘BAFFLED’ appears more tongue n’ cheek. Here, the screamed backing vocals take precedence allowing Knife to exorcise lingering demons over a pummelling track.
‘TAKE A CHANCE’ is where Knife falls most comfortably into his strongest lane, hooky trap that boils most of the rapper’s contributions down to steely, unwavering brags over jet-powered production. Single ‘I AM YOUR GOD NOW’ is the polar opposite, far from a commercial offering and channelling modern scream-rap pioneers City Morgue by balancing throat-tearing vocals with an east coast groove. This isn’t to say that the Florida sound isn’t present in Knife’s music, ‘CHOKE’ is a manic, evil work that only those on the darker end of the underground spectrum that resurfaced in the state in the early half of this decade. ‘DEPORTED’ is arguably an ever greater example of this influence, sinister horns blaring as Knife’s increasingly violent lyrical content dives into the muddy underbelly of the dark trap sound.
As the project reaches its conclusion, ‘DEATHPIT’ with guest star Loudpack Kap marks itself as a highlight. Kap brings his own Floridian energy, turning in a worthy verse that also serves as a useful co-sign for Knife. It is ultimately apt, however, that the rapper performs the closing track solo. ‘SYRINGE’ is a great encapsulation of the rapper’s sound, fusing growled, dogged mantras with synthy, halloween production. As his third project of the year, SONGS OF SILENCE does for Knife what so many definitive tapes have done for other artists: placed them firmly on the map as style-switchers that are comfortable in their own skins and not afraid to take artistic risks.
Listen to the project here.