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Single Review: Shaheed and DJ Supreme “Life as a Farmer”

A dangerously mischievous bass comes storming into the fold in the first few moments of Shaheed and DJ Supreme’s “Life as a Farmer,” which is available everywhere that independent music is sold and streamed this February, but this ominous intro is just the start of the fun. In the distance, there’s a dark cloud forming over the fleeting melody, implying that danger is lurking around every turn. A few shades of glowing instrumentation start to peek through the wall of low-end tonality that is forming in the backdrop, but they’re given an easy avenue into our hearts once Shaheed starts rapping. The interplay between him and Supreme is fire from the get-go, and it doesn’t take more than a few bars of their chemistry to see as much.

The lyrical soul of this single is pining for the listener, but the sonic protagonist isn’t alone in desperation in this song. In synchronicity with the words, the bass echoes the sentiment of the rhymes, and the percussive grooving starts to sound an awful lot like two beating hearts slowly separating in rhythm. It’s almost jazz-like in its construction, but the framework in “Life as a Farmer” is one of the more understated flashpoints in its grandiosity. The way that the vocals bond to the bassline from the jump is a feat of miraculous proportions unto itself, and considering just how many hip-hop tracks of similar ambitions have failed to produce the same results as Shaheed and DJ Supreme and Shaheed do in this single, it’s no wonder why so many critics have been raving about the song and its video even before its worldwide release.

 

 

The chorus is when everything starts to reach a climax in “Life as a Farmer,” and while the hook is sharp and efficiently stylized for the song that it’s serving, I like that it becomes increasingly augmented by the arrangement as we get closer to the conclusion of the track. Shaheed and DJ Supreme have led incredible careers on their own, and by some strange scheme in nature, they haven’t just found the perfect collaborator in each other, but they’ve developed an ingenious strain of tempo-driven hip-hop in this song that is rather difficult to categorize by normal genre standards.

“Life as a Farmer” finishes us off in an explosive conclusion that embeds itself into the swinging groove before evaporating into silence and leaving us tempted to listen to the track all over again. It’s a song that’s easy to become hypnotized by, and though I haven’t been very impressed with a lot of rap music this year, what Shaheed and DJ Supreme and Shaheed did with this single has made me feel a lot better about what’s coming up this season. “Life as a Farmer” welcomes us into the studio to witness something that usually happens but once in a generation; the meeting of masterfully artistic minds that share the same love of textured musical muscle and graceful hip-hop grooves. Listeners who pick up this song can expect hot beats, and I imagine that the next few singles that this collaborative releases will probably be a similar story.

 

Vera Mitchell

 

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