Sydney producer and artist emjaysoul embraces classic hip-hop feel on ‘LIKE ME’
Sydney producer and artist emjaysoul has brought together fellow Harbourside artist and producer AEDAN with Boston rapper Jai Elijah to feature on the wonderful ‘LIKE ME’ off of his latest EP. Entitled ‘WHILE YOU WAIT’, the EP follows on from emjaysoul’s therapuetic beat tape ‘SOMERAPBEATS 3’ released just under a month before. Similarly to that album, ‘WHILE YOU WAIT’ is a reassuring listen filled with a gooey, nostalgic centre that values lush beats and adds bars and vocals through its features. A precursor to a larger scale project emjaysoul is developing separately, the 5-track EP traverses a variety of ambient and soulful beats that are amplified by emjaysoul’s introspective reflections and the accompanying features – namely Miles Nauti, Jai Elijah, AEDAN and Station Hayds.
‘LIKE ME’ assuredly reels you in from the first listen through the method of balancing blissful drums, a lavish autotuned vocal sample and a decidedly heavenly violin. The track’s classic hip-hop DNA, forged by the magnificent producer brain possessed by emjaysoul, establishes a foundation fit for two impressive performances by Sydney rapper and producer AEDAN and Boston rapper Jai Elijah. AEDAN’s chorus is both unapologetic and grounded, making direct reference to his unmatched talent and determination in the pursuit of his musical aspiration by opening with the instantly catchy “Can you rap like me, I keep a hundred degrees, I wouldn’t wanna be me if I was you too”. Accentuated by Jai’s confident adlibs, it’s a cheeky and emphatic way to bookend Jai’s verses in the mid-section.
Filled to the brim with assured and life-affirming bars, Jai’s verses serve to allow listeners to recognise his impressive flair as a rapper. The Boston artist dissects the lack of originality and skill he sees in rappers around him, “my art can paint like van Gogh, you more like watching paint dry”, questioning why they choose to hate ahead of improving their own music. emjaysoul’s production across ‘LIKE ME’ and ‘WHILE YOU WAIT’ is refrained but intrinsic to the DNA of the track and project itself. He gives every song identity with the sophistication of a veteran producer, making one feel like these aren’t throwaway tracks on an EP, as the sheer passion and natural ability emjaysoul displays in procuring such warm music with ease speaks overwhelmingly to his talent as a producer. When I say I needed to hear this track I’m far from fabricating, ‘LIKE ME’ is gorgeous and empowering and wants you to feel that way about yourself too.
Words by Matthew Badrov