“America” is the latest track by Brisbane, Aulstralia based Producer/DJ Sam Stosuur, and easily his best song to date. Self described as a producer and musician who enjoys challenging creative norms, Stosuur has dialed back some of the experimentalism and returned to more time-honored sound in this latest track.
Featuring rapper Tr38cho on the verse and last verse, and Roman MC on the second verse, the song is lyricism and rhyming at it’s absolute finest. This speaks volumes for the esteem of both artists, and for Sam Stosuur himself for getting the two perfectly harmonious MCs together on one track, and for producing a song which manages to balance many competing elements in way that is perfectly listenable and in which each added instrumental detail work in perfect concert, despite the many flourishes layered within this composition.
Sam Stosuur has created a lo-fi vibe with this beat, set to a more uptempo drum backing. With the sounds of sampled drum kicks sitting well in the mix, heavy tape saturation giving a warm fuzzy sound and feeling, and a cacophonous mix of added detail in the high range, this production should be overkill in about ten different ways, but somehow it all balances out nicely and still leaves room for the MC’s to have audible detail in their vocals. Tr38cho takes the first and last verse, and as an MC, I’m amazed he’s still flying under the radar. He sounds so identical to Kendrick Lamar at times, it’s almost uncanny. His cadence matches Kendricks perfectly, and occasionally his flow is almost that low-key casually lyrical style that KYLE is so known for, but a little ramped up in Tre38cho’s case. It’s like Kendrick on any day, or KYLE on an amphetamine binge.
Roman MC takes the middle verse, perfectly complimenting his counterpart Tr38cho. He kind of sounds like one of the hard, gangsta rappers of the 1990’s trying to leap out from a low-key, confessional rappers flow. He flows melodically and fluidly over the beat, and occasionally pops out vocally with a DMX sort of cadence attached to one or two words every so often. Roman MC’s lyricism is also on point, and he adds a little reprieve between the long runs from Tr38cho’s verses, in his more-sparsely flowed (though still lyrically complex), rhythmically nuanced verse.
In Tr38cho’s verses, the rhyming is so accomplished, at times his rhymes start to blend together, making his voice sound almost like an accompanying instrument than a vocal run. There’s a part in verse one where the rhymes are of particular interest, as they are really playing with how you can manipulate the transition between familial sounds in multi-syllabic rhyming. In one line, he says something like, “…Too monotonous/true weoperatives/I’m a dawg, you the Chupacabra -it’s/…the move to pardon/in a new impala/and…” and if in reading those lines you don’t see where the rhymes are — that’s because he’s that good. Drawing out the “-oo” and “-ah” sounds in “too monotonous” and “true, operatives” and using enjambment, with words like “it’s” and “and” completing the rhyme on words where the previous word only follows part of the rhyme scheme, is all evidence of his true mastery over the art of rhyming. It’s something I can’t say enough good things about, and something which I hope captures hip hop’s attention again, as rhyming was a staple in terms of form when hip hop began and it has been it’s most distinguishing feature as a musical genre since the beginning. So, in terms of what we value and respect in this art form, I can only hope we begin to see this skillset as a something which deserves our attention, and our respect.
At the end of the song, there’s a little run that serves as an outro which goes, “Team America, Meet Australia… Team Australia, Meet America, I want to let you know/ I think you’re dope!” Even though I never thought I’d be speaking on behalf of “Team America,” I want to let Sam Stosuur, Tr38cho, and Roman MC know: Thanks, Australia. We think you’re dope, too.