Monday 15 May 2017


On this bed of lo-fi grandeur Maryland rapper Bakalis spreads a rhythmic rapid-fire flow, crowding the aching slow beat with thickets of heartfelt words, a seeming contrast to the laid-back instrumental as much as vibrant splashes of oil paint on a hazy wash of watercolours. The lyrics chart ambition, hard work and self-belief, the vocals skipping acrobatically from syllable to syllable, sometimes rising to a crescendo of passion at the end of a bar, as in the glittering hazy intro: "but what's a spotlight to some blind eyes / feel like i'm in a dog fight to survive i / ain't been missing sleep just to achieve a couple high fives"—and then the beat of 'Regal' kicks in like a slice of slow-dance introspective vaporwave, corroded and crackling yet emotive and emblematic.

Guitar like a far-off wolf howling plays a lamenting melody throughout, muted chimes glimmer above indistinct rumbles of bass, the beat itself, distorted and decayed, thudding dusty kicks and abrasive handclap-snare combo and shuffling shaking hi-hats drags itself slow fatigued, all of it contrasts the delivery whilst simultaneously providing an unexpected mirror the lyrics: these are the slow steps of the sleepy, the tired mind and body of someone focusing all their energy, the soundtrack to sleepless nights. There is a lonely feel, especially in that lilting almost Hawaiian-style guitar, but also in the general haze of the track, a neurotic and nocturnal heavy-eyes-staring atmosphere.

ut still, in the adversity of graft and grind and taking it day by day, the gradual climb to the heights of recognition and beyond, there is confidence: "got tabasco in my suitcase / cause i bring the heat everywhere that i go / got em pleading me please don't show up at my show." This is a wonderful illustration, sonically and lyrically, of the internal struggle between doubt and belief, weakness and strength, and against fear, when chasing a dream.

  • πŸ”” The beat has been created by Task* with additional production by Marvillous Beats.
  • πŸ”” 'Regal' is taken from Bakalis' new project, a mixtape, EP, album, who knows, out 3rd June.

Bakalis Internet Presence ☟

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