The San Francisco – Oakland area has produced many musicians and artists over the years. Perhaps it’s the summer of love, the legendary anthems of Journey or the hip hop influence of MC Hammer, Tupac and G Eazy or Too Short – the place we grew up in is a huge factor in many tracks and works of art. Does rapper, Stevie Ray have that magic bullet to bring the Bay Area back into the musical spotlight?
Yes. Yes, he does.
Stevie Ray, the rapper behind “Feeling Old” from the upcoming full-length release, Free, helps us believe that the art behind hip hop is still there and it’s not just a constant barrage of unrelatable words. He’s not so unattainable that the listener is blinded by the bling and stoner lifestyle. In “Feeling Old” he convinces the listener that the “best medicine is to let someone know what you’re going through.” That’s the money and the point of “Feeling Old.” He’s gone through it, and he’s spent the days doing nothing but smoking pot and wasting chances. For all the times he spent complaining and comparing himself to others and measuring his own success on what others are achieving, Ray (in the song and seemingly in real life) hangs up on his own hang-ups and channels that maturity into a solid track. “Feeling Old” has the California-surfer rock music bed feel, with a groove and vibe that is completely universal. Listeners have been hungry for a track like this for some time and by golly, he’s brought it.
So what should fans expect when listening to “Feeling Old”? Well, besides the daunting title and maybe already feeling like the word ‘old’ is a bit of a turn-off, they should push past the title and embrace the originality and rapping skills that Ray champions. His flow is mesmerizing. He’s chill, engaged, revealing, poetic and rocking all the same time. Ray seems to be comfortable in the role of giving his advice. Full disclosure, I’m not 20. Not that it matters, but if I were younger and writing this, I might have a different opinion entirely, but I think Ray knows that. I think he’s brave and yes, many younger listeners will be highly inspired by his words, some might not. They will, however, be able to respect his point of view and give credit to “Feeling Old’s” music arrangement. It’s still a killer track.
It’s a surprising track and “Feeling Old” needs to be listened to by the masses. Fans of any music will dig this – even the hard-nosed hip-hop haters. To compare to any other of the Bay Area musicians mentioned above – Tupac is the top choice. Stevie Ray may not have the hurt, anger, poetry and iconic voice behind him, but “Feeling Old” holds true as a fine track that celebrates a young soul’s personal history. Time after time, “Feeling Old” feels right. It’s a universal moment that we all have to face one day. Getting older doesn’t mean leaving behind dreams. I think Steve Ray is reminding us that tomorrow is never promised. Today’s the day to listen to “Feeling Old.”
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