There’s something addictively fresh about this latest release “Play for Keeps” from artist and rapper “Main1”. From the very first moment, the high quality and character of the production is crystal clear, and as the vocals come into play, this creatively structured yet undeniably focused piece of music and lyricism unfolds. The opening simplicity of those distorted soundscape sets a humble yet effective scene within which the upcoming, leading voice can completely thrive and overwhelm its audience.
Main1’s flow is rhythmic and emotional but perfectly in keeping with the upbeat and motivational energy of the music supporting it. The storytelling is important, this is something truly unique to the artist, so you get a release that is both packed with individuality, and professionally, thoughtfully crafted and finished.
As you can see, “Play for Keeps” is a huge track. Stunning production at every moment means that from the beginning to the end you can feel the thick and explosive energy of the track, everything strikes hard. The intro alone, as simplistic an idea as it is, pulls you in with its creative reach. Then as the awesome soundscape steps up to center stage, there’s a touch of nineties nostalgia to it all, and on top of everything you get the power of that leading vocal. The verse vocal is loaded with character and honesty, the words speak a truth that only the artist can choose to explore and share, the sort that breathes new life into rap and grime. The speed and swagger of the performance is superb.
The track’s hook is on point, the energy is kept at a fairly hyped level though with an underlying, easy going musical vibe. Lyrically there’s a touch of darkness on occasion, largely due to the unquestionable truth the artist presents his audience with. Real life is reflected within the verses, and then return to the hook keeps that uplifting element ever-present and powerful. The hook and in fact the overall ambiance of the track pay something of a tribute to classic rap from way back when. There’s a subtle touch of organic musicianship to the beat, not overusing electronic samples or aiming too carelessly with the creative mixing. The track is humble, but it hits with strength, and the artist’s leading voice and flow throughout is the sort that will bring fans of real hip-hop back again and again.