ARTIST: B-L1FE
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A self-proclaimed jack of all trades, B-1FE has demonstrated this many times over the course of his so far pretty short career. Those new to the man’s music should start with the S1NS project, it’s a well-rounded set of tracks that features homage-riddled tributes (‘Since We Lost Tupac‘), nocturnal party trap (‘Saucy With My Woes’), and fairly mature relationship drama (‘Talk Nice’) within the span of three tracks. Despite the litany of guests on the project, the rapper is always by far the most interesting voice on his songs. The heart behind his lyrics is ever-beating, the sense of melody able to compete with any of his collaborators, and the ear for beats truly impressive. The songs that encourage better straight up rapping (‘Different for a Reason’) are the strongest points of the tape, but there’s a lot of fun to be had with the more zany tracks too (‘Seen Around’ is borderline horrorcore, ‘Ghost in the Shell’ adopts a more cybernetic approach to contemporary trap sounds).

B-L1FE told me himself that he considers the follow up, 6/6/6, to be the superior tape as its his breakthrough offering. There’s a loose concept here, as from the intro ‘What If’ the rapper is questioning biblical beliefs and remaining skeptical of a number of widely-held beliefs. The distorted voice of the omnipotent being that he speaks to is reminiscent of Tyler, the Creator’s various alter-ego personalities that told the story on his classic trilogy. On ‘Breaking Bad’, the rapper immediately introduces a darker sound that is deepened further thanks to a vicious guest verse. There’s a healthy dash of hedonism (‘Pour Another Shot’) and a larger trap influence, but for the most part 6/6/6 is an edgier, more stylistically honed version of its predecessor. Both of these albums are more than worth a listen, as they offer crucial glimpses into personal life and creative processes.

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