Off Hiatus | Kode Red


by: Eric N. Boston | @EricBoston3

So this all began with a simple tweet:




I shot my dude a quick dm and a few minutes later my inbox was blessed with some upcoming music by the artist that many of us have been waiting on patiently to drop.

You may have noticed Kode Red's...you can call it swagger, youthful bliss, or, better yet, just age ol' confidence. He is not afraid to let you know that he is just as good as any of your favorite emcees when it comes to his abilities around a beat.

After hearing these latest demos, he may be right.

Normally I am not one who pays too much attention to someone with a goat mentality. I get it, this is hip-hop and you're not going to escape it.

You know what they say, "it's not bragging if you can back it up", and right now the culture is starting to recognize the young man who, as his Twitter bio states, is "a real person".


Enough set up. Let's jump into the music. 


From the first notes of "The Hiatus" you get one of those epic feels of what is about come thru your speakers. Then comes the first words that line up with the message Kode Red consistently puts out

-"I've been me from the jump"-

As the listener, you are fully convinced that what you are hearing is unfiltered Kode Red as his vocals ride over the production. It is easy to get lost in the vibe, but I warn you to not miss what the young man is saying. Lines like "I'm terrified to be famous, you never know, I could be next" have a way of letting you into the mind of one of the culture's more talented up and comers. 

Now, when I opened my email the first thing I noticed was an attachment labeled "Mafia". It was not because of the perhaps controversial title. Instead, it was the name that came after "ft." that caused my eyebrows to rise.  

If you keep up with me at all then you know that not only am I a huge supporter of Thomas Iannucci, but I'm lucky enough to call him a personal friend. There was Thomas' name and I'm not afraid to admit that it caused me to jump directly to "Mafia" first. The hits that start out the song are a bit ear-piercing, but they play off of Thomas' first words perfectly, "I don't even know why you brought me here". Is it a statement directed at Kode Red? After all, Thomas has been leveling up his own skillset over the past year and Red is still surrounded in some uncertainty. If you are going to feature someone of Iannucci's caliber on your track you need to be prepared to bring your 'A' game or he is likely to steal the spotlight.

Iannucci gives Kode Red a raw and heavy-hitting verse that blends well with Red's style, which he speeds up for this track. For those who are fans of "Illyinde" that Iannucci did with Joe Ayinde earlier this year, and if you're not what is wrong with you!?!?!?!, then you are going to enjoy this track as well.

Next is the track "Consciousness" 


It is a track that Kode Red slows down on and delivers his feelings. He discusses partnering with God as he is dealing with depression. How demons are coming after him, but even so he is still able to find joy. The complete truth is that you are not going to be able to navigate the depth of this track in one listen. It is perhaps my favorite of the four tracks that he sent. It has a unique sound that separates from the majority of what is currently being heard across CHH.

That brings us to the final song "Overnight". Again, you have a mellow track complete with synth keys and a snapping high hat. 

Kode Red flows with a melodic touch on the track as he settles into the pocket. The auto-tune on the hook is something I could do without, but I understand why he chose to use it here.

The message that is being conveyed on "Overnight" is that none of what happens for an artist is instantaneous, it is a grind. You either work hard and pay your dues or maybe this game just isn't for you. One thing is certain, Red has definitely been grinding and these songs are a shining example of that.

I don't know what is soon to come from Kode Red. Perhaps these four tracks are going to make up a future EP. They might be pieces of a bigger project. Whatever it is, I am now anticipating seeing what the homie is going to be dropping for the public to consume.

After listening, I have no problem saying that Kode Red is an artist that the culture needs to be keeping an eye on. If you want music that breaks the norm of today's CHH then he is an artist that is going to bring that to you.

As my man said...

... and I think he has pulled this off. CHH, step your game up.

--

My personal rankings of these tracks:

  1. Consciousness
  2. The Hiatus
  3. Mafia
  4. Overnight

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