In his latest single, “I Love Sosua (Dominican Republic),” underground hip-hop sensation Koblack comes in guns blazin’ with a fiery beat that is guaranteed to get even the dullest of clubs shaking on the spot. Koblack issues his most liberal jam to date in this new track, applying his slick vocals to a lightning-fast rhythm that grinds as hard as it sways. The drums are abrasive but not nearly as physical as the flow that pushes the verses through our speakers, and if you weren’t ready to hit the dancefloor this spring, this song is sure to get you moving closer to it like nothing else will.
The bassline here is larger than life and very clubby in nature, but I think it has a lot more in common with alternative hip-hop than it does anything in electronic pop, which has not been the case with the majority of output from Koblack’s rivals this season. There’s a little bit of overdrive on the bass, and it cushions the crisp stylization of the beats in the background perfectly. The spotlight is always fixed on the vocal track, which drives this single with an adrenaline-laced moxie that is sadly missing from the mainstream hip-hop singles that I’ve reviewed in the past few months.
Koblack’s rapping is seamlessly integrated with the instrumentation in “I Love Sosua (Dominican Republic),” but it’s worth pointing out that, through this well-defined master mix, the two elements never become muddied in the grander scheme of things. The pace of the drums keeps our hearts racing to their rhythm, and the vocal acts as a cohesive component holding all of the finer points together, like a sonic linchpin of sorts. I like that Koblack’s verses aren’t marred in bass tones, but yet there’s enough muscle in the bottom-end to quake the floorboards beneath our speakers just the same.
There’s a lot texture in this single, and I would even go as far as to say that there’s more than I would typically expect to find in a modern rap track, regardless of the scene that spawned it. Streamlined hip-hop has been overflowing the FM airwaves for the better part of the last half-decade, and that could be the biggest reason why a song like “I Love Sosua (Dominican Republic)” stands out as much as it does, particularly now. The production is sleek, but there’s no denying the rigidity in the beats, which makes this single so much more engaging than it would have been otherwise. It isn’t surreal, nor smooth – it’s in your face, hardcore hip-hop with a vibrant pulse, period.
Fans of quality rap and urban pop need to make a point of checking out Koblack’s “I Love Sosua (Dominican Republic)” the next time that they’re in the market for new and exciting music from a less than commercial source. Koblack doesn’t hold anything back from us here, lyrically or musically, and I think that it could be described as the most involved and multilayered recording that he’s shared with us thus far in his career. The future is looking bright for this indie juggernaut right now, and I can’t wait to hear more from his camp as the year goes on.
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