Usually I post a child-friendly mixture of electro-pop, indie and folk, and sometimes I don’t.
Last year Seattle-based duo Sam Lachow and Raz Simone dropped the ‘5 Good Reasons’ EP to an expectant fanbase, receiving widespread acclaim for the quality of work and racking up nearly 15,000 downloads. Fast forward six months and Raz has gone it alone, releasing the biographical EP ‘Solomon Samuel Simone’ this week. Unlike the majority of current hip-hop artists, Raz Simone has endured a rather alternative path to success, the son of an oil artist, his first steps into music were through the church before moving on to slam poetry as a student. He eventually decided on a career in hip-hop and judging by his début release, he has certainly made the right decision.
‘Sometimes I Don’t’ is bewitching from the get-go, the simplistic but captivating sample kicks in within seconds and accompanies you throughout. Simone isn’t far behind and his gruff, smoky vocals come in with an early chorus, acquainting the listener with the glue that holds the track together straight away. The quality of Simone’s bars, which follow the intro, give some indication to his poetic past. They are tight, well considered and hard-hitting, ticking all of the relevant boxes. His tale of disparity between being embroiled within a dangerous culture and trying to focus on a moral and ambitious path, a contrast reflected in the mix of rich sax and modern beats in the backdrop, is enthralling and adds depth to an already impressive track. The honesty insinuated in the EP title is carried through the song with Simone suggesting a difficulty in excusing his actions and elements of his lifestyle. His writing partner Sam Lachow features midway through, delivering a signature 16 keeping the track fresh with his slightly lighter injection of bars. The balance is sublime, the quality is superb and the track seductive, you couldn’t ask for anything more.