South Carolina hip-hop/rap artist Kyle Oashu has dropped his latest 6-track album, ‘I Just Want to See the Sun Again’. These are songs of self-discovery with touches of Frank Ocean, Drake and a young Kanye West that will warm your soul.
According to Oashu himself, ‘I Just Want to See the Sun Again’ is “a statement about how I want better days for myself and for the ones I love and how I'll do anything to achieve that.” Oashu’s music is clearly informed by very personal experiences, such as with second track ‘My Grandma Lives In Heaven’, which is a song tinged with nostalgia, featuring high-pitched vocal chops and punchy percussion.
The very introspective ‘Erased’ features only a choir of transposed vocals declaring ‘Let it go’ - Oashu does not join in with his rap until three quarters of the way through. When he does, we really feel that music is cathartic for him, as he raps about not wanting to waste away doing the same things as everyone else, and instead hopes to create a ‘legacy’ through his writing and music, and be the one who dares to live differently.
Godloft / Awake is much more aggressive in nature, and we hear a certain angst awaken in Oashu’s voice that up to now, hadn’t been voiced with quite the same drama as it is here, accompanied by abrasive percussion and synth. This track provides a point of contrast to the rest of the album, yet joins the feel of the other tracks at around the three quarter mark, when the song changes its tone - not only does Oashu’s vocal tone ease into a more gentle, mellow vibe, but the music itself evolves into an atmospheric soundscape, with more minimal percussion and ambience created through synth pads.
The album ends with stunning track ‘Pretty Little Monster’, with vocal synth pads creating a feeling that Oashu is singing with the angels, recalling the heaven of the second track, as if to say the artist is joining his loved ones who have passed and also stands united with those who still live. He raps about his own life experiences and the act of trying hard to make something of himself despite any fears or obstacles. He speaks of light and demons, and there is a very entrancing hook made up of slightly detuned synth melody, interspersed by very visceral claps. This song really seems to recall something of nature, despite being made electronically.
‘I Just Want to See the Sun Again’ showcases the power of electronic music production. It also reminds us that the art of rap is connected to the very rawest of emotions, whilst acting as an empowering platform through which to voice one's fears, and in turn alchemise them into something uplifting.