As both a critic and a longtime hip-hop fan, I’ve been growing tired of the predictable nature of the genre’s mainstream scene for a while now, but thankfully the underground is keeping things quite interesting this summer for those of us with a more discriminatory ear. “Mood,” the new single from TheBabyDon, is bringing those who appreciate the melodic dynamic of pop with the sleeker sound a more condensed trap rhythm, and if you’re the type to be a little pickier about the hip-hop you consume, it just might have the missing beat you’ve been looking for in your daily soundtrack this season.
I don’t know that TheBabyDon could have slashed away any additional fat from the music video for “Mood,” but at the same time, I’m hard-pressed to call this a work of minimalism. There’s a vibrancy thanks to both the music and the erratic camera shots that break up the simplicity of the rather barren backdrop epically well, and by the time we reach the halfway point in the song it feels like we’ve gotten to know this artist’s personality better than we ever would have in something prop-filled and exaggerated from a visual perspective.
As much as I love the old school in hip-hop, there’s something about the experimental side of this genre’s modern age that makes me excited to find out what the next wave of underground magic is going to look and sound like, and I do believe TheBabyDon is very much a part of that movement. She’s owning the microphone with a lot of power and presence in this piece, and I’ll be curious to see if she’s able to hold up the same kind of weight in a live performance (or even just a proper follow-up to the terrific recording she’s issued in “Mood”).