It’s that time of year when schedules get stretched beyond recognition, late nights and little sleep take their toll, and I start to feel as if I spend the days and weeks locked in battle trying to wrestle time to the ground. Breaks in the action are to come by.
Hum is one of them. Three minutes and six seconds of pulsing, pounding, gritty-but-joyful hip-hop, with a heavy, dank bass line that depth-charges at 30 seconds and is big enough to crawl into and hide out from the rest of the world for a bit. It calls to mind the bass line on Dead Prez’s Hip Hop; just a massive thrum. And, it sets the stage perfectly for NIKO IS’s trademark gravely voice and dexterous, creative, multi-lingual vocals.
NIKO IS has been one of my favorite underground and emerging artists of any genre over the past few years. Since releasing his incredible full-length debut Brutus in 2015, he’s been busy putting out a series of EPs and guest tracks. But, I’ve been anticipating a follow-up LP; Hum is the lead track off that album, Uniko, released on November 30.
This track showcases all that makes NIKO IS so dynamic; bars for days, endless flow, absolute command of the mic, keen rhythmic sense, and an talent to meld together a vast array of cultures and musical traditions anchored East Coast rap and the sounds of his native Brazil. You cannot help but pay attention when he starts to spit. His tone and words crackle with purpose and urgency and an endless energy for the world around him, with all of it’s beauty, messiness, and diverse colors.
Ahhhh, I’m so excited to have new music by this guy.
Featured image by @mmiikkeeyy