If you ever wondered whether or not it was possible for a relaxed groove to still inspire a bit of tension in a song, Shaheed and DJ Supreme have answered a resounding yes via the release of their new music video “Keep Climbing (ft. Angie King)” this February. From the moment we get into the guts of this track forward, the beat is responsible for setting everything up – the mood, the tempo, even the tone of the lyrics and the important message they seek to convey. The rhythm is where the rhyme begins in “Keep Climbing,” and it’s definitely one of the best features this song has.
The interplay between these two stars is strong from beginning to end in this track, but when Angie King comes into focus for the chorus, she really takes over the spotlight (in a good way, mind you). The triangulation of the progressive aesthetic in this piece takes me back to The Score, but with one major difference; the political overtone of the lyricism is much blunter and, sadly, even more urgent in nature now than it was back in the early 1990’s. We’ve come a long way since then musically, but socially much of the commentary has only gotten more toxic.
This mix is ultra-tight and spreads the love from top to bottom appropriately, but at no point does it lead us into some suffocating bassline or impossibly thick melody as too many hip-hop singles from the underground have recently. The primary intention with this piece was to energize and engage us with the sharp and not-so-subtle poetry, and for this being the case you really have to credit Shaheed and DJ Supreme with putting the amount of time and effort into making the instrumentation (as well as the visuals of the video) just as contributive in the grander scheme of things.
Collaborations rarely feel as authentic as “Keep Climbing” does, and when you come across them, you really have to appreciate them for all they’re worth. Angie King picks the right team to join here, and whether consumed via the stylish music video or just in its standard single format, this is as close to a definitive song as Shaheed and DJ Supreme have under their belts right now. I want to hear more like it as both a critic and a fan, and preferably before the year 2021 has come to a conclusion.