Chukwudi Victor Otubelu, known best by his stage name Vikki Sota, has a lot of energy to spend in his new single “Run Up My Bands” and the EP Genesis, but if you think he’s going to use all of his pent-up emotion to run a diatribe on the audience, you’d better think again. Keeping it simple has a lot of benefits in the hip-hop genre as we know it in 2021, and for this up and coming trap player, I think folks need to be considering him the king of lean lyricism among his peer group at the moment – and in the best way possible. “Run Up My Bands” puts all the B.S. to the side, leaving nothing but true creative substance between the left and right channels.
I get the idea that while Sota really loves to push a provocative beat when he gets his hands on one, he does not like to swing – from the moment he gets into the verses in “Run Up My Bands,” he’s planting his delivery in one spot rather than giving us a spread out, almost atmospheric kind of a feel that some of the other rappers I’ve been listening to in the past couple of months have. He can do this stationary, and it’s an angle I’m not used to reviewing at all.
The rhythm isn’t the only spot where Sota has me intrigued by his eagerness to get off of the beaten path; with regards to the overall muscularity of the melodic instrumentation, there isn’t anything in this mix to suggest that most vocalists wouldn’t be struggling to keep up with the sonic ebbtide, but he’s rolling with it just fine. If anything, he’s coming across like he does a lot better with the overwhelming element in a mix than he does the minimalist (aside from the compositional structure itself), and his performance depth exhibits as much.
There’s not one verse here that sounds even remotely overthought; truth be told, I actually get the feeling that this was born of a freestyle that Sota probably came up with not long before he entered the recording studio. It’s still got that fresh rhymes kind of an energy, but without a lot of the hesitancy that often precludes dropping something as wholly well-rounded as this product happens to be. When you’ve got something hot, you don’t mess with it, and “Run Up My Bands” is a good reminder of this.
If what I’m listening to in this song and seeing in the companion video made in support of its release is any kind of a preview as to what Mr. Chukwudi Victor Otubelu is going to be doing on the regular from here on out, I don’t see where his fading into obscurity is on the agenda for contemporary hip-hop at all. Instead, he’s coming for the culture and the influence with everything he’s got in his soul, and I think we’re going to see just how much he’s able to put forth in the next couple of tracks he drops following this gem in “Run Up My Bands.”
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