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Shaheed and DJ Supreme Release “Life as a Farmer”

If you’ve been following the hip-hop underground lately, you’ve no doubt heard about the collaborative singles from beat scholars Shaheed and DJ Supreme, the latest of which, “Life as a Farmer,” is being released this February. With all of the buzz surrounding the project, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I was offered the opportunity to review “Life as a Farmer,” but I was taken aback by what I heard in the song. This duo gives up their most consistent rhythm to date in this single, but it’s the fluidity of the lyrics that end up taking the lion’s share of our attention in this new studio cut. 

Right off the bat, the bouncy beats are captivating us with their raucous rumble, and though the bassline is as heavy as a bloated elephant, it’s evened out by the fluorescent vocal track. With surgical precision, Shaheed lays into the verses without anything to get between us and his lead vocal, which forms a binding grip around anyone within earshot long before we ever get into the hook-laden chorus. The studded grooves get a lot more violent as the song continues, as does the very presence of the bass. 

These players vie for the center of the spotlight but face a cantankerous contender in the arrangement, which is utilized as an artist would use a specific paintbrush to add definition to an already immersive landscape. A sensuous temptation is inserted into the harmonizing behind the bass, and even though the lyrics themselves are always under the spotlight, the melody enveloping them here provokes nothing but integration with the music. The duality in the mix lends to the enigmatic climax, which is the essence of progressive hip-hop songcraft in 2023 when you think about it. 

There’s a lot of detail in the drums that I think deserves as much praise as the rapping or the mix does in this track. It’s not very often that I’m able to say it about any single, let alone a collaborative one, but “Life as a Farmer” is a track that is evocative in different departments that too many rap singles fail to explore with any real meaning. You can tell that all three of these artists have a connection with the music here that goes beyond a desire to make a living; for DJ Supreme and Shaheed, the music they make is, for all intents and purposes, an exercise in unadulterated expression. 

“Life as a Farmer” is one of my favorite new songs of the month, and a confirmed must-listen for anybody who holds classic hip-hop near and dear. Shaheed and DJ Supreme have a lot of different options when it comes to a follow-up here, and after becoming wholly addicted to the freewheeling beats of this single, I’m counting the days leading up to the release of more content from this stellar duo. They offer quite a noteworthy performance in this song, and I think that no matter how Shaheed and DJ Supreme move forward from here, the results will have us talking just the same. 

Mindy McCall

BLASTMUSIC247.COM

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