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Hakeem Prime Drops New Single

Hakeem Prime has something to say in his new single “Imma Let You Go,” and he isn’t going to say it with words alone. Contrarily, he’s got melodies to match a slow jam tempo not utilized nearly as much as it should be in modern hip-hop, and if you’re a fan of pop that doesn’t exist within the boundaries of cultural aesthetics, this is exactly the kind of track you need to be listening to this autumn. “Imma Let You Go” is teeming with soul, but what’s special about its presentation has more to do with compositional integrity than it does anything else.

There’s admittedly a lot of pressure on the vocal track in this mix, but that doesn’t relieve the tension from the bass or the drums in the least – if anything, this does a lot to intensify it. Although there haven’t been a lot of adventurous arrangements coming out of this player’s scene over the summer, I get something definitively more old school Atlanta in this single than I have anything else hitting record store shelves lately. The beat is simple and it allows for subtle virtuosity from the other instrumental elements here, which is all I’m asking for in an alternative hip-hop release in 2022.

I like that Hakeem Prime sounds super relaxed with the verses here as if he wants to make a point of rejecting the underlying swell arising from the bottom of the master mix. He’s at war with the rhythm, and yet their battle is transpiring more as a dance than it is a more aggressive affair. You can tell that he could go a little harder after this hook if he wanted to, but that’s not the mood he wants to set up with “Imma Let You Go;” truth be told, it sounds like he’s having a lot more fun taking things slow regardless.

In his raw music video for this single, Hakeem Prime neither overstates his presence nor tries to implement too many of the literal concepts from the lyrics into the visual scheme, and that undisputedly makes this piece feel just a little artsier than it would have otherwise. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think the saturation of familiar themes in hip-hop music videos is obvious to most observers, and it’s not something we’re having to contend with here; dare I say it, but this appears to be a player who really does care more for the method than the actual framework of his material (which is refreshing on its own).

You can’t go wrong with a rapper who wants to explore his artistry as freely as Hakeem Prime is in “Imma Let You Go,” and I for one hope we have the chance to hear more content like this from him in the future. He’s got a real knack for harmonies that I don’t believe we would have been able to appreciate at a different tempo, and although he shouldn’t limit his creativity to certain types of singles, I like the formula he has here for sure.

Mindy McCall



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