Decadence is on LBM’s mind in the new music video for his single “Bad Habits,” but don’t like the title of this track deceive you; here, excess is channeled into a tonal and lyrical charm synonymous with up and coming greatness. LBM doesn’t have to string together a lot of virtuosity in his rhymes to sound like a boss in “Bad Habits;” on the contrary, I actually think the relaxed attack he employs in this single is more becoming of his natural vocal style. With the mic as his weapon of choice, he launches into an assault on plasticized hip-hop themes one epic beat at a time.
From a lyrical perspective, “Bad Habits” has a really exposed feel that would even be balladic were it set to a different tempo or instrumental setup. LBM’s personality is sewn into the very framework of the narrative – not just the manner in which he’s breaking off the verses – and where some might look at this as being a bit self-indulgent, I think it works for this kind of a single regardless. It’s a minimalism-be-damned approach, but one that I personally find really refreshing next to what the competition have been turning out recently.
The music video is well-produced and doesn’t get overambitious, which has been a frequent issue I’ve been running into with a lot of the indie hip-hop emerging on both coasts this winter. To be fair, LBM is getting really literal in the imagery and not exploiting the metaphorical value of these lyrics as much as he potentially could have, but I still find the construction of this piece to be a lot more charismatic than anything cosmetically over the top would have been. He knows where to draw the line with excess, which is essential when using it to the degree he has in the composing of this single.
I really appreciate the lack of an overbearing backend in “Bad Habits,” and because there aren’t any muddy bass elements for us to try and get past in the mix it’s all the easier for us to appreciate LBM’s depth and overall flow for what it really is. He’s never forcing his hand or even trying to lord over the instrumentation; he’s rather humble, but there’s scarcely an instance in the song’s three and a half minutes of play in which his intentions – or direct action with the mic – is obscured from view.
Though there’s still plenty of room for growth and continued development as a songwriter and performer, I think following LBM should be a no-brainer for pop and hip-hop fans in 2021, and not just because of the muscle he shows us in “Bad Habits.” This is unquestionably a hot look, but what it suggests about his future in the game is actually a lot more compelling than what it tells us about who he is at the moment. Uninterested in creating hook-centric rap for a bygone era, LBM is blazing forward with a progressive style of composing almost certain to get better with time and experience.