M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S is not only the acronym for My Energy Lives Once Vibrating Intellect By Emanating Sounds, but it also the moniker of a 29 year old London based rapper with a killer chill hip-hop project entitled “V.I.B.E.S”. Melo is also part of a group called Jragons, which includes four other members – J@ddo, J.Sage, M0L1Y and Georgia Monet. On this 7-track project, M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S showcases his artistic maturity by allowing himself to wander through dense philosophical quandaries packaged neatly into a variety of beats that move from chill to elegantly intense. The London rapper’s collection of songs makes for compelling listening, and is void of any filler or failures.
“V.I.B.E.S” exists within comfortable and groove-driven territory. All tracks package themes, ideas and sounds, that are meant to induce moods and shift atmospheres. These songs have a backbone of airy chill vibes, which are able to permeate life’s most brazen moments. M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S floats through the surreal and soulful soundscapes with his detailed commentary, supported by a set of charming features.
Things get off to a brilliant start with “Blue Saga” ft. Georgia Monet. M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S unfolds a breathless easy-going flow, with a deep resonating voice, while the songstress croons through an ear-catching melodic hook.
“V.I.B.E.” finds the rapper on his own, riding a dynamic beat with skittering percussion and shimmering guitar motifs. The guitars continue to jangle steadily on “See Tha Way” ft. Senyon. Here M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S is assisted by some heavenly vocal cords and delicate female grit.
The mesmeric beat slaps on “Drive You Crazy” ft. J.Sage, which is underscored by warm scintillating keys, and confident handclaps. The stream of consciousness lyrics and precise delivery on the verses showcase rhythmic brilliance, leading to technically sound and stimulating flows from M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S. The rapper’s songwriting and ear for word building are as robust as ever on this sentimental sortie.
M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S. sounds like a master of nuance and layered subtext, as these track blend together the foundations of a vintage record with the kind of honesty only found on a lyrically adept hop-hop album.
“Pre Up” ft. J@ddo deviates from the norm, as M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S. couples his original ideas with kinetic rhythms, and washes of sweet, ear-warming keys and vocals. This is a fantastically conceived and realized track, not a second overlong or note out of place. The arranging refinement on display is more than you would expect from a hip-hop track.
“The Times” ft. J@ddo creates the kind of lyrical urgency necessary to captivate listeners from start to finish. Today’s hip-hop culture seems to have largely lost the kind of purpose and inspiration it once had.
You don’t hear many rappers today with any kind of substantial message other than to feed a culture of excess and materialism. Here M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S. gives us a taste of the refreshing flipside of that concept on the track. Along the way, he also shows us what a great storyteller and a technically proficient songwriter he is.
The project closer, “Catch a Vibe (Bonus Track), rides in on an up-tempo, helter-skelter beat, meant for swaying hips and nifty feet. The track’s high intensity grooves are fully distinctive and perfectly suited to M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S.’ shifting lyrical styles.
As a whole, the EP “V.I.B.E.S” lands somewhere between an array of exotic rhythms and a stylistic exhibition of flows and melodies. M.E.L.O V.I.B.E.S. and his crew of features explore and refine the techniques of modern rap and hip-hop, landing them on creatively fertile ground.