The first headline single from London’s blkglam is the sound of study; the artist shows more potential than he capitalises on, but creates an invitingly attractive haze nonetheless.
“Arizona Ice Tea”, the first single from London rapper blkglam, is a relaxed tune that relies primarily on atmosphere and chemistry. On “Arizona”, blkglam and Slicko DiCaprio make a familiar and natural team, strengthening the bond the two demonstrated on DiCaprio’s most successful single “Consider It Done”. blkglam’s sound is bolder than his previous appearance, it’s as if the spotlight has given the artist a reason to solidify his voice. There are brief moments where his vocals stray from the intended path, but blkglam’s performance is generally even and his timbre is consistent and confident. He shines the most when providing a sleek baritone to counter DiCaprio’s signature glide.
blkglam is unfortunately limited to two hooks and a verse, but in these moments he impresses heavily. His bars are audacious and his tone cares not for consequences; “Shawty from Houston freakin’ – man she loving the fit”. The self-proclaimed “Adidas kid” plays to the hypebeast zeitgeist, his voice floats freely over the beat like fabric, and, like streetwear, he shoots for a middle ground of seriousness and charm. This culminates in a ridiculous but thematically appropriate simile; “She Stan like a Smith”. Other bars call upon modern rap cliches to drive home the quintessentially Gen-Z vibe. There’s references of being “lost in the game”, and a shoutout to those who “drip till they sink” delivered in a razor-edged falsetto. Again, comparisons to fashion can be made; like the Balenciaga Triple S or Off White Industrial Belt, garish and overly bold elements are made essential through the context of their usage. Amongst the blurry instrumental and light-painted cover art blkglam’s lyrics just make sense – and again, his overall sound and vocal mix is excellent.
DiCaprio is billed second but is given the task of opening “Arizona”. Over the beginnings of Nnovad’s gorgeous and cloudy beat, Slicko DiCaprio murmurs “how the fuck did I do it the first time?” before launching into his verse. Whilst DiCaprio’s performance is distinct, he consciously drops the lead and embraces the role of supporting his collaborator, opening the song with audible relaxation. “Petty n—-s keep the same energy, back then none of you were friends with me” sings DiCaprio, setting a tone of freedom and confidence. He’s just loud enough to feel the effect of pitch correction, but slips into an unvoiced whisper at the end of certain lines, emphasising the drowsy slant of the tune. “Heresy, heresy, off with their heads, simple man with simple pleasures” is a standout line from this opening verse for its balance of power and humility.
“Arizona Ice Tea” is a studious cut from a pair of artists linked by growth and a steel-bound collaborative relationship. There’s something about these two that just clicks. The chemistry between blkglam and Slicko DiCaprio should excite listeners for future releases, and hopefully the artists will continue to fine tune and master their craft within them.
Listen to “Arizona Ice Tea” here.
– Jamie (@youngjade1216)