Lo-fi rap embraces imperfection. Artists and producers utilize unmixed vocals, distorted drums, and tape hiss for their practical and aesthetic beauty. From RZA and Dilla to Earl Sweatshirt and Roc Marciano, the lo-fi scene is as rewarding and overwhelming a subgenre as any currently existing in rap. Welcome to the Lo-Fi Rap Snack Pack, a weekly column highlighting four songs across the lo-fi spectrum. Listen to the Lo-Fi Snack Pack playlist for these selections and more. This article previously appeared on Audiomack World.
Deem Spencer — “Wife Wife”
Deem Spencer is giving himself over completely to love. On his latest single, “Wife Wife,” the Queens rapper and guest vocalist Okay Kaya’s voices flutter around hazy keyboard and drum patterns from producer coach wave. Of course, newfound love is harder to describe through sound than lyrics, but both elements of “Wife Wife” work in tandem to bring Deem to the area of anxiety and confidence that powers so many new relationships.
Trox — “Fish Eye View”
Portland producer Trox employs a distorted logic on “Fish Eye View,” a standout song from his latest project, Tweedheads. Sharp synth lines and crisp drums drive the beat, but the song’s rhythm bends and curves on a dime. The song’s structure is spontaneous, keeping listeners on their feet as they float through the twists and turns of a musical world slightly askew.
Radicule — “Butter Timbs”
There’s nothing in the world like the simple pleasures that come from a new pair of shoes. For producer Radicule, they’re enough to build an entire song around. “Butter Timbs,” a standout song from his latest project EBONY ETERNAL, is a burst of samples, strings, and chimes that sound like the air rushing out of a freshly opened box of Timberland boots. The song is just over a minute long, but its gilded soundscape will sift through your thoughts for much longer.
Sebemco — “Dreamy Rain”
Regular readers of the Snack Pack are likely familiar with how good beats and rainy weather can amplify each other. Producer Sebemco boils this relationship down to its essence on their latest single, “Dreamy Rain.” The song begins with the sound of a car driving through rain-soaked streets before shimmering synths and guitar strums play off of drums to keep that feeling of humid bliss alive. There’s something about rainfall that offers relaxation and focus, which Sebemco captures for 96 engrossing seconds.