Rap has arguably never been as diverse a genre of popular music as it is today, in 2020. With new artists constantly coming out of the woodwork with excitingly experimental sounds, it can be hard for the devoted fan to keep up with the style’s most potent and potentially iconic melodies, but among independent players, Mayne is a songwriter and lyricist who is getting plenty of well-deserved attention and respect from listeners and critics alike in 2020. Last November, Mayne dropped his latest single “No Hook,” and the response from audiences was stellar, racking up tens of thousands of hits on Spotify since its initial release, and after getting swept away by its surprisingly monolithic beat, I can absolutely understand what the hype has been about. Hybridity is a key component in “No Hook,” but it isn’t the main feature – here, Mayne proves that instrumentation is just as important as vocalization in his music, and although he’s demonstrated quite a bit of prowess in the booth prior to this track reaching record store shelves, I think this may well be some of his most mature and evocative content to crossover with both classic hip-hop and emergent trap crowds.
The bass isn’t nearly as big as I would have assumed it’d be in this song (at least after hearing the first thirty seconds of the track), but I think it was necessary to keep it somewhat contained in the spirit of creating a solid aesthetical flow for both the lyrics and the music in general. The vocal is equalized with an experimental dip in midrange – similar to what one would hear in any of the heavy metal or pre-emo alternative rock records mentioned by Mayne in the verses here – but it doesn’t sound hollow or lacking in depth next to the sludgy percussive wallop that corners it’s every dispatch. I love how defined every component of this song is; whether it be a minor reverberation or a slight accent of grittiness to the bassline, it’s tangibly accessible for us to appreciate in this mix, which is something I wish I heard more of in rock and major label hip-hop these days.
For rap fans with a discriminating ear for quality rhymes and beats that don’t borrow too much from the old school (but aren’t more than stone’s throw away from the blueprint set forth by this artist’s stylistic forerunners), Mayne’s all-new single “No Hook” is a must-listen as we get into the spring season. Mayne has been cutting some really interesting tunes in the last three years, and though we’ve yet to hear a proper full-length from his camp so far, I think there’s plenty of reason to believe that he’s ready to make such an offering in the wake of what he’s turning in with this song. He’s come a long way in a remarkably short amount of time, and with a little more discipline and continued focus on his songcraft, he’s going to find as much success as any of today’s hip-hop elite currently enjoy.
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