Hip-hop without any confidence isn’t hip-hop at all, but instead some distant cousin of what has become arguably the biggest genre on planet earth these days. There’s been an overwhelming swell of self-conscious rappers coming into focus over the past couple of years, but judging from the looks of his new single “Bubble Up,” Fiel isn’t about to start composing from an insular perspective. Rather than trying to search inward for commentary relatable to the external listener, Fiel is getting blunt and going raw with his lyricism in “Bubble Up,” skewing the predictable with the provocative every chance he gets.
There’s a bounce to this beat that adds to the pop appeal of the music tremendously, and I like how well this complements the natural vocal style Fiel utilizes. He isn’t having to force enthusiasm for the groove in this single, but getting into the rhythm of the music and the emotional reflection it provides his lyrics without any additional nudge. If there’s one thing this player has down perfectly, it’s the art of knowing when to stay out of the music’s way, which is something a lot of his peers could stand to try out on their own sometime.
The melodies in this single aren’t totally absent from the spotlight. Fluidity has been one of Fiel’s strong suits as a rapper, and this is an instance in which it quite literally can’t be slowed by even the most impenetrable of compositional forces – minimalism. Inventiveness is a virtue of the ultra-successful in this genre, and it’s something this artist is working to his advantage very well here.
There’s certainly no escaping the punch of the vocal delivery no matter what angle we’re taking in “Bubble Up” from, and this is mostly because of the grandiosity within the mix itself. The stylization of the instruments and the vocal in this single are willfully indulgent in a setting that doesn’t call for much more than a scooped EQ over the bassline and a crisp execution from Fiel, thus making the embellishment a bit jarring and unexpected. He isn’t stripping any of the color from his sound but instead emphasizing it in a way that I don’t see a lot of the other indie rappers coming up the ranks trying right now.
We’re living in a time that could potentially be the best era in the history of hip-hop, and for an exciting new take on its melodic charms, Fiel has something you really should hear in the new single “Bubble Up” this summer. There are those who conceptualize in the studio, and there are also those who use every weapon at their disposal in waging a war with unsatisfying pop music. Fiel is a member of the latter group, and that is more than evident when taking some time out to spend with his new single, and really all of the work he’s been turning in the past two years.
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