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Review: North East Beats – ‘You’ll Be Okay’

by admin August 26, 2020

Review: North East Beats – ‘You’ll Be Okay’

Built on a never-ending passion for music, North East Beats are a family brought together by hip-hop. Friends who became brothers, the collective have pooled their various skills to make one unique sound, breaking away from the idea of individual producers, singers, songwriters, and emcees, and delivering a unified and undisputable sound.

Creating new sounds, styles and music, North East Beats seek to inspire and connect with people throughout the world with their music, taking inspiration from a maelstrom of everyday moments. A band committed to protecting and enhancing hip-hop as well as upholding and recognising the artists who built their foundations, they’ve become one of the most intriguing and inspired new groups in the Canadian hip-hop scene.

The collective latest album, ‘You’ll Be Okay’ contains sixteen of their unique tracks, bringing them together to produce an uncompromising vision of their talents. An immersive release, the album opens with ‘Say Hi’, a textured mix of ambient noise and sparkling beats before breaking away into a monotone refrain and passionate rap verse. It’s an introductory track that fades into view with an authentic, heavy vibe, and while it’s not an instantly impressive first impression, it has a lustrous glimmer of potential that keeps you hanging on.

Second cut ‘Old Cartoon’s flows with a familiar vibe, building on the form and melodies of its precursor and setting alarm bells ringing that this might be a one-trick pony kind of album. Thankfully, ’01 Malibu’ comes into view with a refreshing patchwork of heavy, atmospheric beats, curated audio bites, and contemporary rap verse that reminds you of Doomtree’s irrepressible sound. From there, ‘You’ll Be Okay’ goes from strength to strength, carving its own path through the hip-hop scene with brooding, often minimalist beats that hit hard and leave their own distinct mark.

The title track burns with an eclectic rhythm and shades of Run The Jewels, while ‘The Rosest Rose’ flows with a funk-infused beat and rough-cut DIY sound, joining Steve Miller in the world of fictitious words. One of strongest tracks on the album, ‘Different’ arrives with a hard-cast, rough and tumble attitude, bursting into view with a stream of ferocious vocals that fly over a haunting, kaleidoscopic instrumentals.

It’s all a mixed bag of dynamic, shifting sounds and creative sounds, with the album lurching from one style to another with total disregard for the cohesion or over-arching narrative. Amazingly though, it works brilliantly, and while the production might not always be up to scratch, you finish ‘You’ll Be Okay’ with a sense of triumph and understanding for North East Beats’ world.

A visceral, unyielding look at what could easily be one of hip-hop’s most innovative new collections, ‘You’ll Be Okay’ is available now on Spotify and Apple Music.

Score: 7/10

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