From all corners, there’s a persistent and pernicious resistance to any flexibility in what we think of as rap. As hip-hop has permeated pop, it has grown into a function-first art — those in need of a clearly and consistently-defined soundtrack to turning up, whipping around, or chilling out. At the same time, diehards are increasingly driven to stake claims about what is and isn’t real rap; while their positions vary, they rarely take a fully inclusive stance. Rap is a zero-sum genre, defined against itself as much as the rest of the musical landscape. Wherever his stylistic eccentricities may lead him, Lil Freezer to all effects and purposes is a Hip-Hop recording artist based in Seattle, Washington. Known locally as “Emo Popstar” thanks to his unique voice, dark, emotional lyrics and melody he puts in his music.
The more you listen, the more you’re likely to find, and the more you find, the more you’re likely to like Lil Freezer’s single, “Into Pieces [Prod. Classixs]”. A tempo slowdown and an opening lyric caught my attention – “My world is falling into pieces now / My heart is broken into pieces now.”
Thanks to the mastery of melody and willingness to experiment, Lil Freezer lands in a zone where he sings and warbles more than rap. To do so, he dips into a fine production stash, where he manages to continually intrigue, wrapping himself within his own personal style, meant to mystify and entertain.
I believe Lil Freezer’s quiet influence is a much-needed breath of fresh air for the entire genre. Dismissing those obsessed with a distinction between old-school storytelling and youthful, spontaneous hit making, Lil Freezer’s utilizes his sing-song vocal style like an instrument and his ultra-modern production like a weapon.
More nuanced and tactile than his peers, the rapper rides this alternative line of rap. It takes a producer of similar eccentricity to perfect Lil Freezer’s style and many simply wouldn’t be able to match, resulting in songs being messy and underwhelming.
Enter Classixs, whose minimal beat pushes Lil Freezer into louder, more aggressive flows, spaces in which the artist flourishes. The passionate energy of the single carries the positive experience further, flowing naturally and leaving you wishing for something even longer than you get. It’s songs like this that showcases Lil Freezer’s impressively loose groundings, proving his adeptness at dipping freely into pop, R&B, hip-hop and alternative flavors without changing a note.