Do the names Beach Noise, Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet and Sounwave ring any bells?
If you’re still clutching at straws, these are the producers responsible for arguably the hardest beat on Kendrick Lamar’s recent LP, Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers.
Buried deep lies ‘Silent Hill’ featuring Florida native Kodak Black. Defined by rib rattling bass, sweet keys and shots fired from a futuristic firearm – this one is nasty. Deliberately spacious, the production gives both MCs the opportunity to speak their minds. Kendrick spends his bars shining light on the daily stresses of being famous. Almost immediately, we’re hit with a chorus that encapsulates the suffocating feeling of being in the public eye.
Push these bitches off me like, “Huh”/ Push these n***** off me like, “Huh”/ Pushin’ the snakes, I’m pushin’ the fakes/ I’m pushin’ ’em all off me like, “Huh”
With each “Huh”, it’s like Kendrick is getting a waft of something grotesque, his pronunciation timeless.
He continues on, preaching how no amount of money can help celebs squash their mental struggles. I think we’re all well aware that rappers often blow cash on fancy things to suppress their inner turmoil. Playfully using the game of Peek-A-Boo as a metaphor, Kendrick expresses how childish this comes across with this activity generally reserved for little ones. “Peek-a-boo, can’t hide behind your money, dawg.”
Like an apparition, Kodak Black leaps into the recording. There’s a buoyancy to his verse, as he absorbs Kendrick’s energy and brings a hit of youthful exuberance. Ironically, Kodak cheekily flexes his wealth with lines like: “Big ol’ ruby diamond on my pinky finger, that bitch look like a Ring Pop.”
On the flip side, he also admits that many of his purchases serve only to drown out the head noise. “The AP Roman numeral, everywhere I go, I need pharmaceuticals.”
‘Silent Hill’ is undoubtedly full of grunt. That said, it also carries an important message about materialism and what purpose it serves for those of notoriety.
Listen close and wile out beneath: