Hip-hop is changing. No longer is it solely about who’s the nicest behind the mic, but who has the most versatility. We’ve seen it with Snoop Dogg…ahem…excuse me, I mean Snoop Lion go from “Ganster rap” to Reggae…I guess, and Kid Cudi transition from rhyming to singing in almost the same breath. Fast-forward to, well, now and you get Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York, native Brasco Bklyn.
At the young age of thirteen, Brasco took it upon himself to create his own music by writing, studying performance, and eventually getting into production. I recently had the opportunity to review a handful of his songs. Though one out of four songs is from this year, they each radiate a different vibe. So I took the time to analyze and rate each piece based on his lyrics, delivery, and production.
Heartbeat is a ticking bomb. The record begins with lonesome piano keys and Brasco Bklyn speaking to the audience as he says, “You know, it’s like you got emotions bottled up and shit, and you need to vent a little bit, you know.” Shortly after, the solemn piano notes transition to heavy drums and distorted synths, creating an entirely different vibe.
The song is a well-made take on Childish Gambino’s track that bears the same name “Heartbeat.” Heartbeat breathes life and speaks directly to anyone that has been through a rocky relationship (Oh, I’ve been through one too many of those *tear drop*). Sure the story has been told time and time again, but Brasco’s overall product is undeniably effective.
The drum pattern and synth lines in Heartbeat are remarkably similar to the European-based electronic duo Justice’s song Genesis, but it doesn’t take anything away from the track. Brasco skillfully opens his verse calmly, and, as the song builds, his vocals reach a crescendo, creating an exciting, yet, uneasiness about the words said.
Everything in Heartbeat works from the production to Brasco’s lyrics. And, in less than three minutes, he manages to exert potent emotions, which is a skill that cannot be taught. If anything, the only real disappointment is that Heartbeat wasn’t a few minutes longer.
I Got it Made:
The first thing that comes to mind when I listen to I Got it Made is old school hip-hop—fat gold chains, Adidas jumpsuits, graffiti writers, b-boys, and boom boxes—in other words, hip-hop in its glory days.
Brasco’s easy to follow rhymes go hand-in-hand with the slim-layered, yet head-rocking beat, which consists of basic drum lines and guitar licks. And it is apparent that Brasco chose to have fun with I Got it Made once he reaches the hook and chants “Old school, new school needs to know though/ I burn, baby burn, like disco inferno.”
Brasco’s old-school flow further emphasizes his hook. “Check the price tag,/Charge it to the black card/ I got bitches screaming ‘whoa’ like Black Rob,” spits Brasco, “This life got me living in the fast lane/Before the music, dawg, it’s the dope game,” he continues.
The lyrics in I Got it Made aren’t dense so don’t expect to be blown away. I do, however, think heavy lyricism was not what Brasco intended. The song is, in a sense, a homage to hip-hop music in the decade in which Brasco was born–The eighties.
Part of the hip-hop culture is about celebrating your uniqueness or ranting why you’re better than other emcees in the game. It could be the way you rhyme, where you’re from, the lyrics you use, how many things you own; the list goes on. With that said, it’s fitting that Brasco created So Fresh, a song about being, well, fresh.
Heavy drum lines and horns open So Fresh, which features the vocals by Jay Mor. The record is near perfect, however, Braso’s lyrics seem watered down. “I flow like a hundred grand/ Look like a hundred grand/ I guess you can say I’m the man with a hundred grand,” recites Brasco in the first verse.
Lyrics aside, So Fresh has a commercial appeal—the hook is catchy, the delivery is immaculate, and the production is addicting. It is one of those songs that will have you humming the chorus after a couple of listens.
There’s no doubt that Brasco’s strong vocals carry him throughout the properly titled No Hook (produced by Jay Money) as he glides through the two-minute track without a break. The subject matter is focused on getting paid by any means necessary and the piano keys in the instrumental help paint a dark, gritty vibe to the overall tone.
Brasco spits his best lines when he rhymes, “My little homies, shit, they be dying to bust off/Premature, so they real quick to bust off.” But as No Hook carries on it feels like it is running in place with no real substance other than his desire for riches.
Regardless, No Hook is a track that displays Brasco’s versatility behind a mic. The song may not have mainstream appeal, but Brasco still demands attention with his natural delivery.