The Introduction

KeyWord is an underground hip hop artist from Muscle Shoals Alabama, specializing in conscious and storytelling rap.

The Description

Today we are reviewing his song Living On The Edge. In it’s essence, Living On The Edge is an underground hip hop storytelling track. It is about 3 interwoven stories that deal with the need for the ego to seek validation and placement and the extent the ego will go to find just that. The first 3 verses tell the stories of 3 different people who have completely different, yet very similar situations. At the end of the third verse, their stories all come together. The fourth verse is the aftermath or karma from what the ego has done and now each person has to live with what has happened. Each verse is connected with a hook the sums up the feel and nudges you to be conscious about your decisions and understand the root of your actions, thoughts, and emotions.

The Strengths

There are two major strengths in this track. The first is the story and the way it is told in the song. KeyWord done an amazing job at creating a world and storyline for the listener to get completely engaged with. The delivery and emotion put into the song amped up the realness and made the story much more interesting. The beat also goes along with creating that mysterious and dark vibe that sets the tone for the whole story. The second strength in this song is the hook. The hook is a straight up underground rap hook that is super catchy, it feels very reminiscent of older underground hip hop tracks, and it is enjoyable to repeat.

The Weaknesses

The only thing I can say about this track that can be considered a weakness, is the quality of the mix. The vocals are too low, which can work in other genres such as rock, pop, jazz, etc…, but for hip hop, and underground hip hop at that, the vocals should be louder to really create an emphasis on the lyrics and flow. The song is also over-compressed to where it makes the song sound muffled and congested. It sounds like some heavy master compression was placed on this track which crushed a lot of the dynamics of the song. This can cause a listener to get ear fatigue, to lose interest in the song, and to not translate well on other systems.

The Verdict

Overall, this track was really interesting to listen to, had a great concept and message, and the hook was very catchy and fun to listen to.

Score: 9.0

If you would like to hear more of KeyWord’s music, and stay updated with further releases, follow him on Soundcloud and other social media platforms below.

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