RATES - CLOUDED
Another artist to add to the growing compendium of Australian hip hop is Sydney based rapper Rates.
With a long list of sell-out headline shows to his credit, Rates has also appeared on stages in several festivals and tours across Australia, including Big Day Out, Breath of Life Festival, Heatwave, Tech N9ne, Task Force, and many more. Rates also has two #1 Australian hip-hop albums under his belt, including Destroy and Rebuild (2013) and Untold (2016) and his tracks Nightmare and Nightmare 2 have attracted over 4 million YouTube views collectively.
Rates’ new single Clouded will undoubtedly strengthen his growing reputation in the contemporary Australian hip-hop, rap community. The new track, produced by Defiant (HZN beats) and engineered by Espa at Safe House Studios, also features the disarming vocal of new talent, Aliya Dusk.
Noted for his close to the bone narratives and unassuming style, Rates’ recorded output and robust performances have attracted an impressive fan base. Clouded is very much a sparse hip-hop, rap record, blending periodic drops with eerie, ethereal textures and a contained melancholic edge that smoothly mirrors the warts and all lyric.
The track is not so much about surprise and dynamics but adopting a restrained yet consistent approach, allowing for Aliya’s melodic centrepiece and Rates’ bare-knuckled confessional to do their work.
‘‘ As well as containing the obligatory, expected melodic chorus pay-off that makes the most of Aliya Dusk’s finely wrought cadences, Clouded features Rates’ typically vigorous observations and wordplay.
As well as containing the obligatory, expected melodic chorus pay-off that makes the most of Aliya Dusk’s finely wrought cadences, Clouded features Rates’ typically vigorous observations and wordplay. The track’s ultimate potency lies not only in the juxtaposition of Rates’ verses and the anchoring hook but perhaps most persuasively in the explicatory manner by which his imaginings are conveyed.
With lines like, When that boat capsized, and my spirit was in it / Feeling lost at sea, and my vision diminished / Yeah I’m pouring a potion, then I’m pouring it out / We each other’s poison, yeah I guess I’m knowing that now. Rates transposes his stark self-assessment into a fittingly quixotical and picturesque image, neatly and effectively cushioned by the encapsulating qualities of Aliya’s performance.
LISTEN TO RATES HERE WHEN RELEASED: