Moti is a rapper member from the label Planetarium Records alongside the artists June, JinWoo, Gaho, Kei.G, and Villain (Ed. He left earlier in 2020). Together, they already produced the albums PLANETARIUM CASE#1 and PLANETARIUM CASE#2 but also the M/Vs HOCUS POCUS and IGOHOLIC for instance.
And if one thing is sure, it’s that it is difficult not to be intrigued by the energy the rapper conveys. Moti is exuding a certain charisma, his rap is rather raw, his verses are pretty striking. In short, it’s impossible to feel indifferent when listening to his rap!
However, despite is double single BLUE WAVE or his appearance in the productions of the other label’s members, it was rather complicated to take a step back on the rapper’s work.
But it’s now over with the release of the EP WHSH released on February 12, and the project is really great, confirming the artist’s potential.
If the project is “only” made of 5 songs, each of them is just excellent, and yes this criterion is quite subjective but no one could deny the ingenuity behind the work on the rhythmic here. How Moti makes the most of his instrumental to deliver his message, showcasing his rap
A project with great rhythmic ingenuity
The project itself is really coherent and seems rather intimate. Overall Moti is sharing his will to succeed, to succeed while still staying humble, to be in keeping with what he is, but also and above all his unwavering determination in order to achieve it which is literally expressed in the title of his EP, WHSH for ‘Work Hard Stay Humble’.
The whole project is tinged with jazz, groovy or even sometimes pop sonorities, with BPM (Beating Per Minute, so basically the speed of the track, of the rhythmic, the space between the times in a way) between 100 for FREE THE MIND the slowest track and 165 for WORK N REST the fastest one.
165 is a rather fast tempo in comparison with what is done usually. By contrast, according to Wikipedia, for Rap tracks the average is more between 90-100BPM, the Trap ones are mostly on a 140BPM. IGOHOLIC is on a BPM of around 118 for instance, Hocus Pocus around 90BPM and Villain’s Manitto around 123BPM.
You are maybe wondering what is the point of such information? Besides the fact that it is quite a performance to rap on a BPM of 165, what is rather entertaining with WORK N REST or even KNOW, which is by the way still at 140BPM, is precisely that you might have not immediately noticed the speed of the tempo.
Two factors can explain that. Moti’s ease first, the fluidity of his rap, the fact that he is good at handling his breath; but above all the lightness of his instrumentals which applies for all the tracks of the project. This lightness is partly induced by the use of samples from “real” instruments, namely an omnipresent drum, and sometimes bass or electric guitar lines, a piano or a synth. On this EP you’ll not hear 808, the deep basses peculiar to Trap tracks for instance.
More generally, the work on the rhythmic on each track is actually really judicious and hence deserved a more detailed analysis.
KNOW is probably one of the tracks with the most noticeable jazz influence. This influence is especially brought by the very light playing on the drum. The drummer plays with a lot of flexibility which brings this rebound feeling one can have by listening to the instrumental. In the same spirit, the ride cymbal is just slightly resonating. The cracking sound effects, the piano, and the synth with the retro sonority or even the light line of double bass (when you use headphones) also contribute to build this jazz atmosphere.
But besides that, KNOW is also a really visual track, there is a real dramatic side behind this song which seems to allude to a certain madness, a madness induced by the routine, a weariness maybe, as the chorus which opens the track would indicate it.
“I know I know, You know You know, May be, I never know, You never know, I’m gonna know, You’re gonna know, May be I know, probably You know“
KNOW is indeed built on a very heady rhythmic, which would almost evoke a waltz since the 4th beat of the bar is muted (a waltz is usually based on a third beat bar). And at the same time, the building of the atmosphere is really progressive, the track is progressively gaining in intensity.
We could approximately cut the track in three parts.
A first progression from the start of the song to 1.18 minutes, with Moti who, from 0.50minutes, is intensifying his rap but on a still rather classic atmosphere.
It’s from 1.18 minutes that KNOW is taking a surprising turn. There is still this joyful and bouncy rhythmic, but rather than simply going back for the original chorus, there is this time a sort of echo on Moti’s voice, a more agitated echo, but what is especially striking is none other than the strident screams in the background which are unequivocally evoking the madness register. In this way, there is a true discrepancy between the instrumental and the shouts. It’s like a madness which would free itself from the normative framework, from the appearances prison, or also a kind of internal conflict.
The lines between the 2nd and 3rd parts are more blurred. From 1.30, the chorus is tinted with autotune which brings a rather unreal dimension while the shouts keep on intensifying. Then, from 1.44, there are only repetitive, frenetic whisperings left, accompanied by strong exhalations, and suddenly, the silence!
As you’ll have understood, KNOW is impressive on its own, and that’s a good point knowing that WORK N REST is as much well thought.
WORK N REST
As previously said, it’s the fastest track of the EP, but also maybe the most cyclic one.
Once again, there is a more marked drum, especially on the third time which is often heightened by the snare drum or also the progressions on the toms which emphasize the beginning and the end of the choruses for instance.
If this track can be described as cyclic it’s once again because of the work on the rhythmic.
Here, Moti seemingly wants to evocate the cyclic nature of his days, which would be exclusively dedicated to work and rest. And, as a consequence, it’s as if this work/rest phases were reflected in the rhythmic.
From the start to 0.58 minutes, there would be for instance a “work phase”. The rhythmic is more unbridled because both the beats and the off-beats are played. Then comes the first part of the chorus, at 0.58, and this time, only the beats are played. Then there is once again the chorus at 1.09, and once again it’s both the beats and the off-beats until 1.20 where another “rest phase” starts and so on.
It’s only at 2.32 that there is the first rupture of this cycle, even if the structure is still progressive, then there is a second one in the same vein at 3.18.
And Moti’s strength is clearly to adapt his rap to all these changes, WORK N REST is for him the occasion to show a side of his technique.
GO featured by June which also has an M/V adaptation is maybe more conventional in terms of structure, but is interesting nonetheless. It’s a really fresh track, really groovy, jazzy and dynamic, tinted with a pretty nocturnal vibe especially thanks to the synth or the electric guitar line with some blues vibes in the end.
Moti still seems to share his determination, his will to outdo himself and reach his goals. He is supported by June who heightens even more the groovy aspect of the track.
If GO is lively, the harmony between the two artists has certainly to do with it!
FREE THE MIND
With its tempo at 100BPM, FREE THE MIND is more narrative. The song starts with a rhythmic punctuated by a close hi-hat, hence, the sound is really resonant. Then the instrumental is progressively building with once again a 3rd beat especially marked. If the verses are rather refined and repetitive, the “musicality” is intensified on the choruses. There is jazzy/groovy/RnB vibes clearly reinforced by Villain‘s participation who distinguishes himself as much on Rap as on RnB with a disconcerting ease, especially on the bass-line at 1.44!
HUMBLE is probably the most Laid-Back track of WHSH. In other words, the song is pretty heady, with really marked beats and a heavy rhythmic. The Guitar/Bass line brings once again a nocturnal jazz side and the whole accentuates this mantra aspect which seems to be the main concept behind the song:
“Papa always worry bout me ‘son you better be humble’, So I chase it more than Money Yeah I Rather Struggle“
Moti concludes WHSH with this life precept, to stay humble under any circumstances, a precept which he is constantly reminding himself, or at least, it’s what the instrumental seems to convey.
In this way, WHSH is an excellent project, from a Rap viewpoint but also because of the reflection behind the productions. The instrumentals are totally in tune with Moti’s message, it’s almost as if the rapper were having a conversation with the beats, he is showing real flexibility and is above all standing out through a high musical sensitivity. Definitely looking forward to more projects from him!