Remember when Yeat could justifiably be called an underground artist? In the time since 108MICS covered his breakthrough-ish record “Up 2 Më” it seems the abrasive uptempo rap genre known as rage music has become a race to create the wildest vocalisations possible. Sure, it’s not a genre known for having an expansive core of lyrical themes and sonic texture, but there is something of a core identity there, something about the aggressively electronic palette that screams for more intensity no matter how far into the red things go.
Bandanna$aint’s gnarly new mixtape “Eject” balances the vocal elasticity inherent to rage music with a strong, grounded sense of voice. The production – seemingly mostly handled by $aint himself – is full of sawblade electronic tones and heavy, shuddering bass. On “Eject freesyle” we hear both sides of the coin; $aint rambles through the autotune with tempered frustration while robotised falsetto adlibs add a surreal spin. “Eject” is a record that wields the core anger and ecstasy of rage music with confidence. Though there are some surprises, $aint generally leans away from the alien-voice Olympics going on at the genre’s top end, which gives his voice a sense of genuine control. The ghostly, elongated notes on “Code Red” sound straight-up sinister; when $aint reaches the lower end of his register he’s basically just talking, seemingly aware of how present he can sound even through conversation. On the next track, “Fanduel”, he’s more agile, singing through a collage of blurry situations. As he sings “I forgot where I was going” on “Tryna get away !” it’s like a moment of clarity between these hurried single sentence stories. There’s less lyricism than there is collage.
Bandanna$aint sounds elastic but not forced; He warps his voice at times but with a rasp that indicates restraint. With some rage releases it’s easy as a listener to hear artists throwing their voice in the digital blender and ask “what’s next?”. “Eject” is more solid, less immediately combustive but definitely more consistent. “High as us”, with it’s wild production and stuttering electronic melodies, shows just why $aint’s half-calm half-furious delivery works. The song is repetitive, chaotic, intense, and to hear someone sound so composed in such a hurricane of sound signifies power. It’d be good to see how well $aint can balance this atmosphere as his vocals develop in future releases, but for now “Eject” is a very solid listen.
Listen to “Eject” here.
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