Rap songs typically rely on catchy hooks to grab and hold the attention of the audience. However, when you can fire off 64 straight bars of fiery rhymes spanning topics of racism, economic injustice, and references to Nigerian filmmakers, you may not need a hook. Such is the case for rapper Unchained XL on his latest track “2 TO THE 6.” The Britain-born, New Zealand-raised artist with Nigerian heritage brings his diverse cultural makeup into the track, referring to himself as, “Just an immigrant kid / with a backlog of identity issues and a brilliant pen.” He incorporates his varied influences with unquestionable style as he speaks truth to power over a bombastic self-produced beat.
“2 TO THE 6” has an impressive level of detail, including its title that refers to the math equation 2 to the 6th power, equaling 64. Outside of his lines about social justice (“It never works out how you want it, like democracy”) the majority of his lyrics feature chest puffing with lines like, “I’m the rap Thomas Edison / I figure through resistance / I can shine my light to anyone, everyone.” Unchained XL backs up his words with hard-hitting flow and fittingly powerful production.