Brooklyn-based rapper OnCue has flipped the script for his latest single, “Closer”, singing the entire song rather than just the hook. While he’s always brought something of a chip-on-the-shoulder attitude to his singing abilities, this seems an especially daring step ahead of the release of an album entitled Angry Young Man, which lends itself to a straightforward boom-bap backpack rap interpretation. With this track sampling “Brain“, voice-of-the-moment Banks‘ collaboration with acclaimed electronic producer Shlohmo, he shifts the expectations of both fans and critics, probably a wise move after the many postponements of AYM’s release date. His singing and referencing of lyrical influences like emo mastermind Ben Gibbard has always made his claims to authenticity more believable than the average white rapper, avoiding the hyper-masculine posturing of so much underground hip-hop in favor of something more balanced. His avowed appreciation of Banks and name-check of her song title adds a deeper layer to that discussion with the release of this particular track, as her original song’s lyrical conceit focuses on the calculation involved in looking ‘hard’ in the scene. By making it a free download, he’s sure to have given every fan time to let that sink in and form an opinion by the eventual release of Angry Young Man.
By Dave Fox | Philadelphia Ambassador | @philosofoxthedj | Beat-Play and Music Without Labels, LLC