BEST NEW TRACKS: LIL HAPPY LIL SAD - LET ME DIE
Rapper Lil Happy Lil Sad returns with downtrodden folk-tinged hip-hop track "Let Me Die." SSRIs may be required.
Hip-hop's become much more nuanced in the decades since its inception. What started as ostensibly protest songs and survival anthems from people living in damaged communities, sticking close to the streets by necessity. It was music for warriors and party animals. Classic hip-hop has a darker side, but you've got to listen for it, look for it in the shadows like Michael Myers lurking behind a hedge. Cypress Hill's "Hand On The Pump" could be a Slayer single if you were to replace DJ Muggs' phat beats with scorching thrash guitar. "Gangsta's Paradise" is pure Goth melancholy, an ode for fallen friends and errant soldiers.
Maybe the earliest rappers just didn't have time to assess their emotional state. Or maybe it's just a by-product of having more people using beats and rhymes to explore every aspect of the Human condition. These days, there is rap music for pretty much everything. Which is good news for the genre, as it brings more and different types of people into the fold.
Goths, emo and indie kids who haven't already been converting may find themselves converted with the tranquil melancholy of Lil Happy Lil Sad's "Let Me Die," a haunting hip-hop banger with a tender folk underbelly.
LIL HAPPY LIL SAD - LET ME DIE
"Let Me Die" creeps in with a sparse acoustic guitar, dripping with late-night echoes and distant reverb. It makes it sound as if it might already be too late, that Lil Happy Lil Sad is already beyond the veil, communicating through a seance, with table-rapping beats and Ouija board confessions of loss and regret. Lyrically, "Let Me Die" sounds like a spirit from one of The Conjuring movies, lost in the fog, lacking direction.
"I'm feelin' lost and I don't know where else to go now
I don't really have a place to call my home now
Everybody hatin' and I feel so cold now
Why do everybody make me feel alone like."
It's stark, chilling stuff. "Let Me Die" sounds like Elliott Smith getting together with Shabazz Palaces. We all know how things turned out, in that instance. That, together with the 'Lil' in his name, and track titles like "Depression" and "All Lies," on his The Friendly Ghost EP, makes us wonder if we need to be worried about Lil Happy Lil Sad.
Let's hope he's purging all of his demons and darkness via excellent singles like "Let Me Die." Considering he's about to drop a new single next week, called "Bliss", hopefully things are picking up for LHLS. We Are: The Guard hope so. He's way too talented to fade into the black anytime soon.
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.