Written Before Listen
So Quadeca is a rapper I’ve known from when he did videos on Youtube. Having beef with YouTube rappers such as YouTube heavyweight KSI, doing FIFA videos and rap as well. Recently, he stopped doing videos full time and focused on his music which led him to make his newest effort “From me To You”. Unlike most Youtubers, he is actually technically skilled and highly respected when it comes to the realm of Youtube. With that being said, he returned with an album recently and curious to see how it turns out.
The first thing that I thought was that Quadeca sounds completely different artistically. He no longer raps over introspective trap production. He instead takes production with his own hands and rapping over production thats more experimental, more ambitious and colorful too. He truly took not only a big step foward but just a whole flight of stairs.
So Quadeca producing his own for what I believe the first time, he truly impresses me. He puts a lot of detail In his production. A lot of the beats consist of heavy bass impact, synth arpeggios, glitchy FX, orchestra and EDM inspired drum patterns. A track like “Sisyphus” has so much involvement throughout the instrumentation consisting of everything from Mellotrons, rock drum breaks and acoustic guitar to hyper pop drum patterns. He goes somewhat ambient “Can’t You See” consisting of vintage synthesizers and unique string palettes. A song like “Maybe Another Day” is a little more front faces with its electric guitar loop and drum breaks but its than impacted by industrial percussion and psychedelic FX. There are definitely some pretentious moments such as sampling a printer on “Work” and the whole entire “Summitt Pt.2” but overall, I was just left impressed by Quadecas production on here.
One thing that i was torn up on were the multiple ambient interludes on here. Starting off the album with “Coulier” which is a psychedelic ambient number that just works as a bonesetter. The first interlude is the “Verglas Interlude” that brings atmospheric synths combined with Bjork-like drum glitches. Then we get the “Hallstatt Interlude” which is basically backed by synths and choir. To wrap things up with the interludes we have the “Swallowed The Key Interlude” which brings drums into the mix as well as the usual ambience from previous interludes. We then get the “Summitt” pair which part one sounds like a Mac Miller track and the part 2 sounds like an unnecessary continuation of what I just heard. The real question though is do I like these interludes? yeah. Honestly, I think they are a nice touch on the album. I usually dont like ambient interludes on albums but they work as an extra for an album like this.
So the variety on here is beyond hip hop and I use that term loosely. Quadeca goes electronic with tracks like “Candles On Fire”, R&B on “Alone Together” and even goes on a mellow pop route with tracks like “Can’t You See”. Even when he doesnt truly venture in these genres, he still has that as a secondary thought. The track Sisyphus alone contain influences of Pop,Industrial,R&B,EDM and even Indie Rock in a sense. Other than that there are still elements of electronic and Neo-psych too peppered throughout the tracks. Overall, Quadeca not only improved his knowledge behind the boards but also improved his knowledge of music in general.
There are obvious cons to point. Sometimes the production palette despite being impressive can be a little repetitive with its format. There are also a lot of flows that sound forced and going over skill level. Its also hard to ignore some of the cringey punchlines. With every Chance the Rapper line we get a Hakuna Matata line, Ben Shapiro line, Red Bull/Blind Rick Ross line, zebra line, PETA line, Simon Cowell line and many more. He can also be a little bit derivative at points. There are points where he sounds like James Blake or The Weeknd. There is a huge JPEGMAFIA worship everywhere that no one else really hears but me but I cant be the only one. Other than that, I honestly think Quadeca came out with a good record.
Wow….Quadeca outdid himself a heavy amount. The genre fusions, the mixes, the variety, the topics, the concept all work. Despite some gripes on the hip hop side or the originality side, he still comes off as entertaining. He also is not only an artist who can escape the YouTube rap label but can move forward to being someone that people can look at in the near future.