There’s a certain sub-sect of hip-hop which sounds like hard street tales being aggressively delivered to a serene, picturesque Japanese lake, and in this world Archibald Slim and Chester Watson are lone ronin, operating separately, brought together under only the most vengeful circumstances. Cribbing from hip-hop’s infatuation with Eastern mysticism and the recent influx of sample-heavy production with sparse drums, if any at all, the duo have some knowledge bombs to deploy on their new single “Reflection”, and they would appreciate your compliance and acceptance of these bombs as they rain a conscious fire on your grateful faces.
The beat, also produced by Archibald Slim, uses a loop which sounds like the contemplative victory music at the end of a 70s martial arts flick, subtly spruced up with a set of dusty, muted drums, there to guide the track rather than overpower it. Archibald Slim and Chester Watson take the hard-boiled poet approach and proceed to share some extremely quotable life advice borne from the struggle. It’s a heady mix, but it sits right. Archibald Slim’s verse carefully imparts a generous amount of wisdom, with a tone that silently strong-arms you into submission.
“I want it all, they stop and ask for a ticket
Get on your grind and jump the line ‘cos you can’t ask how to get it
And n****s gas you so they see just how far back was you bending
But n****s crab and you gon’ end up kissing ass for a living
I don’t believe in debt, you can’t afford it you don’t need it yet
Showed all the love I got, my pockets used to bleed to death
You best believe I paid the cost sure as you breathing breath
You go from being best friends straight to receiving threats”
Slim delivers his verse so coolly detached from the lessons gleamed from his exploits, you find yourself agreeing to things you have no first-hand knowledge of. Apparently this quality also makes an individual susceptible to joining a cult. Chester Watson’s gravelly rasp rounds the track off with tales seeming to suggest he was high and in possession of a credit card, which is not recommended.
“Hella wavy I can feel the ceiling and the floor spin
Psychedelics in my blood got me feeling more zen
Constant state of meditation I go in the store and spend
Absurd amounts, still evil want me to repent”
In their new roles as senseis, Chester and Archibald seem to have discovered an impactful resonance in their stoic, stark street tales which goes beyond the music which is usually described using those adjectives. Though there is a certain bragodocio, the stripped back beat necessitates a certain level of understatement, which is especially unnerving and undeniably effective. “Reflections” is the second single to be taken from Archibald Slim’s forthcoming album Fell Asleep Praying, the first being the low end heater “When The Light Hits”. The album is due on August 26 on POW Recordings and it promises to be a good time with unbreakable caveats. Buy “Reflections” here.