In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are today’s musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Summer Breeze” — Lorde Fredd33
How We Found It
You might’ve been led to believe it’s a cup of coffee, but the best part of waking up is new Lorde Fredd33 in our SubmitHub inbox. If that doesn’t rhyme as well as the Folgers jingle, it’s a good thing that Fredd33 does – as one of Milwaukee’s finest, the longtime associate of Busdriver and Milo has been quietly excelling for years. His last record, 2018’s Norf: The Legend of Hotboy Ronald, was one the years best, and on “Summer Breeze,” he eschews his rap prowess in pursuit of the dense, brooding R&B that ran throughout that album.
Why We Like It
“Summer Breeze” inverts Fredd33’s usual fusion of hip-hop and R&B, prizing sweeping vocals and intricate ambience over tight bars and piercing rhymes. The production is as tight as ever, if not as busy – familiar interpolations have been traded for space, and once-frequent beat shifts are traded for patient atmospherics – and where once Fredd33 stacked bars he croons, carving out a hypnotic cadence. The work is undeniably his, but it represents an evolution all the same, opening up his familiar production and using that space to press his distinctive vocal:
Your gentle touch
A summer breeze
Baby please, don’t ever leave…”
In that way, it runs with the precedent set by “Reparations,” Fredd33’s first single of the year, which channeled the angst-ridden energy of Fleetwood Mac’s ever-accelerating “Tusk” into a gripping R&B mantra. Impassioned voices croon, ad-lib and scream their way through proclamations and demands alike – “bitch, I need my reparations,” says one; “hold on,” urges another – and gentler though “Summer Breeze” may be, that feeling of chaos never truly leaves, sitting somewhere just beneath the surface.
These news tracks are fragmentary, the lyrics tinged by the passion of the telling, a series of moods as versatile as Fredd33’s delivery. It might’ve been easy to go down a strictly lyrical route – Fredd33’s abilities are beyond reproach – but with “Summer Breeze,” the Milwaukee-born emcee is chasing something much bolder.
From Lorde Fredd33
As a young black man in America, of course I’m constantly having to challenge the social norms that comes with seeking balance while living in a white patriarchal society. Being married and building a real partnership often forces me to confront old toxic traits that we’re handed down. I’ve had to become more vulnerable and compassionate in order to truly enjoy my sacred partnership and honor myself, my wife, and my children/ancestors.” – Lorde Fredd33 for CentralSauce (2020)
More From Lorde Fredd33
“Where can I scope out more Lorde Fredd33?”
I’m glad you asked. The man has two solo records – 2016’s Dead Man’s View, featuring an appearance from Busdriver, and 2018’s Norf: The Legend of Hotboy Ronald, featuring guests such as WebsterX and Zed Kenzo – and, including both “Summer Breeze” and “Reparations,” three singles. His first single, 2018’s “Possum Play,” is a good place to start with Norf.
You’re more likely to know of Fredd33 from his appearances on records from Busdriver (“the year I become a mutherfuckin’ G,” taken from electricity is on our side) and Milo (“Yet Another,” from Who Told You To Think??!!?!?!?!). You could always get to know him on his own terms by checking out his Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Come on – I’m trying to do you a solid here, really.
More to Discover
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