Out of the shadows, a feverish beat comes creeping through the darkness, gaining momentum as it swells in volume. At once, it is both violent and restrained, controlled and yet chaotic, and it isn’t long before it’s joined by an equally provocative vocal from the one and only Koblack, who has a lot on his mind in this, his all-new single, “I Love Sosua (Dominican Republic),” an homage to sex, swag, and the unparalleled paradise that it references in its title. Koblack is spitting out a storm of verses in his latest studio cut, but the hurricane of black and white harmonies that he yields is only one element in the hard-edged hip-hop jam that he’s submitted for us here.
While he’s never shown any hesitance in his execution in past releases, there’s no question that Koblack sounds a lot more relaxed and in his element in this track than he ever has before (which, in and of itself, is no small statement for any critic to make). He attacks the first stanza with a confident swing and becomes increasingly more aggressive as we push on in the song. The drums are enticing and erotically stylish, but they’re by no means the star of this show. Koblack comes undone in the percussive pressure that he encounters in the chorus, and ignites a fever pitch in the hook that could qualify as his most addictive and memorable so far. It isn’t a complete departure from the sound that he exhibited in “Wyct” and “Blue Benjamin,” but “I Love Sosua (Dominican Republic)” utilizes a far more experimental formula nevertheless.
This single has got a lot of bass weighing down its rhythm, but it isn’t so soaked in low-end tonality that we lose sight of the cutting elemental resonance in its supersized synths. The layers in the master mix are arranged with as much attention to detail as any of the actual beats are, and I think that plays as big a role in the construction of the hook as any of the verses leading up to it do. Is it highbrow? Yes, but I’m not suggesting that Koblack has abandoned his ultra-indie, DIY style in this track at all. If anything, he’s refining his means of delivery, and trimming the fat from his sound to make it much more direct and assertive than it had been previously.
Muscular, melodic and mood-altering in all the right ways, you really can’t beat Koblack’s latest single in terms of hot summer hip-hop with an outside the box design. “I Love Sosua (Dominican Republic)” is equal parts a chest-beating anthem of pride and a reflective, somewhat introspective piece that sees its composer getting a lot more personal and unforgiving in his prose. He’s still got a little bit of room for growth, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that this artist is well on his way to breaking through to the mainstream side of the dial once and for all with the release of this sweet new jam. Koblack keeps raising the bar for himself and the scene that he came up in, and that alone makes him a worthy follow in today’s intriguing hip-hop underground.
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