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“Hit the Spot” by Life Change

Electrified and spurred on by a verse as virtuosic as it is smooth, the rhythm grabs us by the collar right off the bat in the new single “Hit the Spot” by Life Change, featuring B Red, and doesn’t let go for anything in the next three minutes the song plays out. Although hardly crafted around the beat alone, there’s something epic about the way the percussion controls not just the tempo but the emotional interpretations of the lyrics as Life Change breaks them off from the center stage. His swagger is intimidating at times, but the danger factor is a big part of the reason why I was as turned on by “Hit the Spot” as I was this April. It’s cutting, but more than anything else, it feels legit in presence and meaning.

Instead of working off of an eroticized beat in this piece, Life Change wants to kick up the adrenaline and the intensity from the start of the song forward, but he has the chops to keep up with the pace he sets early on. The crudest part of the experimentalism movement in hip-hop today is the amateurish use of cerebral lyrical constructs in otherwise straightforward songs, but this isn’t something that’s dragging the efforts we’re witnessing in “Hit the Spot.” Postmodernity is on the sidelines, and replacing it in the game is simplicity, which hasn’t had the chance to increase its field time in hip-hop for a long time now. It’s funky, but this is a single that has everything real fans of this genre can get behind.  

There’s no splitting up this hook into instrumental and vocal halves; the collective punch of the music is the main attraction in this master mix, which just has not been true of the vast majority of new content I’ve been reviewing out of the hip-hop underground this year. There isn’t as much raw physicality as one might expect there to be for this sort of unfiltered venture, but the all-embodying pushiness of the band and their frontman has a way of summarizing the sentiments behind the lyrics in a manner that linguistics couldn’t do on their own. This song was made to get a reaction from you, and if Life Change has his way, it will every time you listen to it.  

This new single from Life Change lives up to its title in every way, and if you want to get a good snapshot of what this player’s artistry is comprised of, the soulful “Hit the Spot” is something you need to be listening to before anything else bearing the creator’s moniker on the cover. Life Change is a smooth operator here, blending what he wants from this and removing what he doesn’t need from that, and if his experimental attitude were to become as much of a trend as some of the more surreal aspects of hip-hop are right now, it would be a good thing for the style as well as those making it their own in 2023. He’s setting a new standard and sounding pretty amazing doing so here.  

Mindy McCall



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