Yakobie Slade – Slide

I get a lot of lo-fi beat tapes submitted. It’s not often I get lo-fi production with verses on it. Which is a shame really because lo-fi is almost always beautiful in its delicacy. I say it’s a shame though because, in reality, once you’ve posted one lo-fi instrumental you’ve essentially said all there is to say. Maybe they sampled a different warm, crackly vinyl, maybe they chopped a different old-school vocal. But in the end, are these differences significant enough for me to highlight in a full-length write-up? This might be reductive but it’s just been my experience. Anyone willing to show me different please do.
Whatever the case, today I present to you Yakobie Slade’s two for one track titled “Slide.” I was sent this video as part of an introduction to Slade’s collective Awakened Tribe. Their goal is to make art that warms this cold world. As they see it, joining their movement means helping “bring righteousness back to a world full of fuckery.” Well said.
I know people hate comparisons but I can’t help but describe Slade’s flow as similar to that of an early Felly or a current Healy. At least on the first half of the track. This half finds him explaining his open-door policy when it comes to human interactions. I believe the lyrics are initially addressed to a lover of some sort but soon diversify to regard his competition and fans.

“Why don’t y’all just ask me
I know I am but a voice
I am nothing you wanna see me?
This game won’t last forever
Wouldn’t you rather take the chance
And shoot the three? I’m open”

The beat fades, a moment of silent passes, and another beat begins. This second half is less one of welcome and more a reflection on the loneliness of the world.  It seems to pair with the first offering, finding Slade post-performance realizing that those who came out weren’t real connections, just people there for the show. All alone, Slade comes face to face with the reality of superficial relationships. Then again, maybe I’m projecting.

“Everybody went home and
It’s just me on my own man
Like it’s always been”

All in all, it’s a mellow and conducive pairing. I am happy to hear someone actually laying down some verses on a lo-fi beat. That said, it could stand to have more raps. Between the introduction and the intermission, a good minute is burned. I acknowledge that this adds to the video’s overall aesthetic but at the same time, you’re presenting a 2-minute track in a 3-minute video. And as far as tracks go, 2-minutes is cutting it awfully close to too short.

Ian Lunn

"Little things are big things to mice"

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