It’s retro, it’s groovy, it’s soulful and there’s even a little ‘food for thought’ to chew on…Just when we think it’s impossible for a track to touch the Tonemama’s heart, brain and dance foot (…we share one dancing foot), Jean-Baptise comes along. In his latest single, “Better Off” he throws all the highest quality musical ingredients in a pot and gives them a good stir, and after you’ve had a taste, we can assure that you (like us) will be better off for it.
Jean Baptise is an upcoming artist who, in his own words, is looking to “reshape the world” (we already know it’s shaped like a pancake, so we wonder what on earth he’s talking about #flatearthmamas). The effort of world-reshaping is evident in his track, “Better Off”. Poetically spinning a tale of a relationship gone toxic and the associated inner debates of staying vs. leaving, we are left both moving to the beat and meditating on the words. The lyricism is exceptional using exquisite imagery that helps paint a vivid and heartbreaking tale. It’s direct and honest, thereby successfully avoiding the trap so many rappers make of getting lost in extensive metaphors like a lonely sailor in a desert searching for their lover behind a cactus shaped like a rainbow made of sugar…*cue automatic laugh track*.
There’s something about Jean~Baptiste’s voice that makes you lean in and pay attention. Remaining in a rhythmic pattern that’s relaxed and energetic, his flow is of such that the words fit in beautifully predictable and unpredictable ways: “You always say ‘let’s talk’ and then give lectures like a Ted Talk/ You stay playing them games but then get mad when I play XBox”. The balance between repetition and variation is expertly handled, and we can enjoy the way he crafts and executes true poetry all the while tapping our one shared dancing foot.
Best listened to: While wearing sunglasses on a rainy day. It’s a complex tune.
Listen for: 1:34 “Ignore the critical conditions on my bank account” because… who doesn’t relate? Also this sentence is followed by some satisfying breaks. We are reminded how effective a good use of ‘silence’ in music is!
Follow Jean~Baptiste here