The Winsboro rapper releases his dazzling sequel to ‘The Lost Demo’.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Building on the traction gained with the release of the intricate, bar-heavy project, ‘The Lost Demo’, passive the rapper’s swift follow-up sees the Winsboro artist continue on his upwards trajectory. Adopting slick rhyme schemes, charismatic flows, and emotive melodies, passive appears to have levelled up across all cylinders, which combined with the project’s grand instrumentation, breeds 9 hip-hop tracks of the highest calibre.

One area in particular where passive has refined his acumen, is the infectious melodies, inundated with both heart and emotion. This is evident right from the opening ‘Oh Dear…’, where the suspenseful humming and jazzy grooves coincide with the rapper’s sophisticated delivery, as he wastes no time employing his savvy flows. But in spite of his assured technical cadence, passive remains in conflict with life’s tribulations, as he can be heard pleading, “oh dear God, why d’you make life so hard?”. Pouring out his emotions over some sombre chord progressions, the rapper adopts a melancholic spirit, leaning on some Travis Scott inspired haunting vocal inflections, which provide a new outlet for him to express himself.

A reoccurring feature throughout ‘The Forgotten Demo’, passive’s melodic rapping is executed to the highest of standards, adding a new dynamic to his artistic repertoire, and capturing the excruciating volume of pain lying beneath his vocals. This is evident on the bewitchingly hostile ‘Reds Are White’, where the rapper smoothly rides the soulful instrumental, before mellowing his tone to express his thoughts on topics such as his father’s doubts. Passive’s emotive melodies feature once more on the penultimate ‘Hollandaise’, where his impassioned shifted vocals dominate the reserved ambience, in turn issuing a disconsolate atmosphere likened to something you may find on 808s & Heartbreak.

Stream ‘The Forgotten Demo’ by passive the rapper on SoundCloud.

While passive’s introspective mindset paves the way for these emphatic rap-melody crossovers, it’s also responsible for conjuring up some of the punchier tracks on the EP. ‘Die2night’ certainly falls under this bracket, with his wavering backing vocals and aggressive delivery finding themselves in competition with the forceful kick drum and an inner conscience which sees him rap, “I hope the Lord forgives my sinning”. The rapper can also be heard asking for pardons from Mother Mary on the following track ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum’, a soulful boom-bap passage where he delivers a reflective verse with deep, spiritual undertones.

Unafraid to speak his mind, ‘Come Up Short’ captures the best of his engaged mindset. An elegant, laid-back beat which lays the foundation for passive to offload his sentiments, the rapper allows his mind to wander, touching on everything from poverty to global warming, and the neglection of the middle east post 9/11. A staple of his art, the rapper’s quick-witted wordplay brings his thoughts to life, and when paired with the lush, cinematic strings on tracks like ‘Mercy’, there aren’t many currently doing it better.

Given the seasoned cadence and sharp pen game presented across its predecessor, ‘The Forgotten Demo’ was destined to be nothing short of sensational. But with grander instrumentation, nuanced melodies, and further introspective lyrics, the Winsboro rapper has exceeded even the greatest of expectations.

Favourite Tracks: Oh Dear…, Mercy, Reds Are White, As-Salaam-Alaikum, Come Up Short  

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