Stealthily rising from the shadow of silence, a staggered set of keys produce the first few strands of a melody that will act as our initial intro to “Jungle,” the new single and music video from Rich Lindo. Vocals aren’t even in the mix yet, but there’s already a sense of impending doom starting to close in around us. The instrumentation is hardly smothering, but its constrictive structure makes it impossible for us to hit the stop button here. Lindo enters the fold amidst a blaze that is already burning as hot as we can handle it, but the words he lays down in the next few minutes will make these first couple of bars feel rather mild in comparison.
“Jungle” has a slow-motion swing to its percussion that makes the rhythm of the music feel like a pendulum, shifting back and forth as if to resemble a fleeting mortality. The video for the track takes the mood of the melodies to another level, throwing in some charismatic shots of Lindo and his supporting cast along with legitimate frames from the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, now taking place in almost every corner of the world. There’s so much tension in everything stimulating us, and it’s all been deliberately put here to make us think a little deeper about what Lindo is actually saying to us in this song.
Rich Lindo isn’t idling in the fight to create change in “Jungle” – he’s putting himself at the forefront of the battle with the greatest set of weapons he could ever offer the movement. The beat, the rhymes and the melodic faceting that give this single an added dose of charm are fine and dandy, but getting beyond the brass tacks, I don’t think you need to be a music critic like myself to feel the honest emotion coming from Lindo here. He cares about the music and the message, and if you’re curious about either or both, the best way you can find out is through listening to “Jungle” this season. It’s a swanky summer track that will make even the most discriminating of critics think about the social impact of modern hip-hop.