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Single Review: “1Concern” Young Holyfield

Though it has some difficult competition for the spotlight in Young Holyfield’s searing vocal, the provocative bassline groove in “1Concern” cascades from the heavens seemingly destined to make this new single perfect. Accompanied by a simple backend and a staggered but ever-present R&B melody, its tempo purifies the air that Holyfield will convert into gorgeous music in this track, leaving anyone within earshot wanting more. “1Concern” is not the only independent hip-hop single I’ve heard worth listening to this season, but it’s a listen guaranteed to make you curious about its designer.

The drums here are rather soft in comparison to the other components of the rhythm as if to emphasize the physicality of the melodic push up front specifically. I don’t get the impression that Young Holyfield needs much help in creating a good beat outside of his meticulous vocal placement, and a performance like the one he gives in this single is enough to convince me he could probably rap this same song without any sort of backing track and sound just as focused as he does in this instance. That’s no easy feat, regardless of experience.

While the melodic texture is the primary foundation for the harmony in “1Concern,” the bass part in the latter half of the track is what gives this single its most profound pizzazz. There’s no disputing the authenticity of the mix; where others would have inserted some sort of synthetic buffer between the vocal and the bassline, the melodic componentry here marries Holyfield’s voice to the distant backdrop seamlessly. You don’t need fluff when you’ve got the instinct to connect simple working gears, and this song indicates that such a task comes as second nature to its composer.



The lyrics in “1Concern” are quite multi-interpretive, but they’re not without a central narrative based almost exclusively on the mood behind Holyfield’s execution. He knows precisely what he wants to say to us in this track, and instead of trying to bury his feelings in metaphors both familiar and flagrantly enigmatic alike, he lets the harmony contextualize what he’s trying to convey. That takes a talent you can’t teach, no matter how dedicated the student is, and looking at the ambitiousness of how this guy is using it, I’d expect even greater things from his camp in the future.

I just got turned on to the music of Young Holyfield in the last year, but I can tell you now I plan on coming back for more as he builds on what’s been started with his work thus far. “1Concern” asks very little of the audience other than for a few minutes and change of uninterrupted time to spellbind us, and though Holyfield’s discography is much larger than this one single alone, this track feels like the awakening of a beast within likely inaccessible to the general public before now. I’m staying tuned for more, and I think other hip-hop fans who prefer the versatility of something aesthetically outside of the box should do the same.


Stacey Winter



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