Right out of the box the “Remake” EP by Sasma can be quite a lot of fun. Credit goes to the 16 year old Brussels, Belgium based Canadian, for his sense for simple hooks; the easy way he slides into the pocket of the beat. And perhaps even more credit is due to the beatmaking, where the music has such large pockets for Sasma to slide into. At a time littered with often stunning cases of newcomers ascending to rap stardom in short order, the amount of European artists rising out of nowhere has been one of the most impressive. Now this young and brand new unconventional rapper breaks out from the pack into the underground scene.
“Remake” deflects the sort of homogeneity that turns most trap collections into total mush. With his icy flow, Sasma’s verses vacillate between boastful and threatening, often explicitly so and to the extreme: “They call me lil chicken but I gotta big cock. And these racks I make em drop”. Or maybe: “Fuck all these damn haters. Fuck all these damn traitors. Man you just a waiter. I’m a goddamn player.”
While less overtly villainous than some of his deadpan contemporaries and peers, Sasma does let some of their sinister sensibilities rub off on him at times. “Remake” as a whole is an impressive formal introduction to the artist, creating an atmosphere which is dark and moody, together with lyrics and production that are a match made in ice-cold-hearted heaven.
Starting with some mellow piano keys, light with a bit of character, the drums hit, but not too hard, on “Typical”. This is Sasma in chill mood. He is juxtaposing the essentials of his hedonistic extravagances against the prosperity of the booming bassline: “My girl she in pink. She say she look a shrimp. Typical I am her pimp. Pulled up with 5 girls in pink. They stick to u like paper under Inc.”
Sasma just found his stride and the chemistry between his voice and the beat is locked. He then moves onto “On God”, which has some deep bass from the bottom of the map. This will rattle your speakers. What’s interesting about Sasma is how much confidence he exudes.
From the flow to the hooks, this is Sasma in trap beast mode – if there is such a thing. There’s a laid back weight to his voice that is perfectly attuned with the bass. Sasma’s one-liners are memorable, he can be hilariously spiteful or brutally candid; the terse approach to lyricism allows him to wedge a mountain of reflection or boast into each verse.
He tends to pick a perspective and runs with it. Check him out in “Wok Talk”: “I’m on the block. Out with my cock. Holding a Glock. And I’ll make it pop pop pop pop.” This is almost consistent with the street life stories that accompany gangster rap: “I got something more to prove. I got some more bricks to move.”
The “Remake” EP by Sasma is more than enough to make me not just confident, but also hopeful that we’re seeing the rapid development of a precocious rap talent that has much more to share. What makes this EP such a compelling listen is the merger between the ice cold stillness of Sasma’s vocal approach and the dynamic beats which create a dazzling unity.