For all its commercialized machismo, hiphop is, in fact, not subjugated to the male ego. It is easy to overlook the wide-ranging themes of hiphop, as it is often portrayed as a bedlam of violence, addiction, and a fleeting, purposeless diversion for those who are closely engaged with it. Clearly, it’s dismissive and barely scratching the surface. In fact, rappers with imperceptible level of notoriety are just as capable of writing the most powerful and most affecting songs unrelated to politics, race, class, fame, and wealth – but women. And not in any way patterned after hiphop’s murky history of misogyny and objectification, but of genuine, romantic nature. The point is, a hiphop song and a love song can be mutually exclusive. Rap, as opposed to a ballad or serenade, is no less of an authentic profession of adoration and love.
‘LDR’, a standout track from Failing Forward, the latest EP of Logiclub hiphop artist Curtismith, is a wide-eyed declaration of love, but without a trace of desperation or display of grandiosity. Even the inflection on “I cannot deny my desire, I’m a monster / But goddamn, girl I want you,” sounds like he’s thinking out loud more than actually saying it to someone else. Produced by frequent collaborator and fellow Logiclub member, CRWN, ‘LDR’s beat structure is as straightforward as its lyrical content, yet gorgeously helmed in stark simplicity. While it’s not Curtismith’s lyrically strongest song, it is one of his most charismatic – “See, your eyes never lie with a vodka / Come on, fly with Sinatra” which references the opening lines to Frank Sinatra’s ‘Come Fly With Me’, wherein the man heeds the woman to escape or elope somewhere distant and enjoy exotic alcohol, which is about as long distance as their relationship can possibly get.
Whether you take Curtismith’s words at face value or dig deeper into them, it’s undeniable how he inordinately presents details to tell his stories, a self-confessed idealist whose songs are definitely worth scratching the surface.