Every genre has it’s clichés and unavoidable elements, and when it comes to hip-hop, the list is seemingly endless. These stereotypes have become so ingrained into the idea of what hip-hop music is, that most people will be pretty quick to paint a vivid picture of the latest rap talent going on and on about music, money, guns, and girls. It’s formulaic, expected, and textbook for pretty much every second of Illuminati Beatz’s latest cut, ‘Life Is’.
A duo of J Byrd and The Sho, Illuminati Beatz describe themselves as “READY TO TAKEOVER! WE MAKE BANGER'Z! WE MAKE HITS! WE SHOOT FOR THE CHARTS! WE MAKE BEATZ FOR THE STARS!”. They’re one of the many up-and-coming talents trying to make their mark on music, and they’re doing it by steering headfirst into the clichés. Their new track is a four-minute romp through simple, heavy beats, multiple featured artists, and a chorus that seems a little thin even during its first appearance. Even its video plays as a bingo card for hip-hop norms. So why does it work?
In every way, ‘Life Is’ has conformed to the common view of hip-hop. It’s a modern cut that has taken the most widely used and commonly known elements of its genre and blended them into a supercut of hip-hop. Musically and lyrically, the track isn’t looking to push boundaries or make major experimental breakthroughs; it’s not looking to divide critics and audiences or set the standard for years to come. It’s here to be enjoyed, be appreciated, and to push the names and sounds of its creators.
For some it might be all too easy to snub ‘Life Is’, but when you boil it down, it’s hard not to be intrigued by the track. It’s built to be enjoyed and heard, and when you don’t take it too seriously, you’ll be able to have a heap of fun with it.
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