3 MIN READ
Until recently, former High School Rapper 3 (2019) contestant GIST has been pursuing his Hip-Hop career independently.
Soon after his elimination from High School Rapper 3, GIST began carving a space for himself within the Hip-Hop community by releasing music like, ‘CHILD’, ‘Monologue’, and ‘Emotion’. His melodic rap structure and unique tone piqued the interest of artists and producers within the community. GIST can proudly attest to working alongside the likes of ASH ISLAND, CODE KUNST, Leellamarz, and The Quiett prior to his recent signing with Daytona Entertainment.
Besides signing with his first record label, GIST also surprised fans with the release of a new EP titled ‘Beginning’. A symbolic fresh start, the eight track album displays the musical growth he has experienced over the past three years. Incorporating addictive melodies ( a musically satisfying sequence of single notes) and harmonies (a pleasing combination of simultaneous musical notes), like those from ‘don’t believe me’ and ‘Role model’, GIST creates a mellow, yet playful tone which flows throughout the EP.
‘Beginning’ explores a “lost love” lyrical narrative, but uses various musical techniques to invoke alternate emotions depending on the track. For example, the EP opens with ‘Dessert Shop’ featuring h3hyeon, which uses 90 BPM (beats per minute) to reminisce over sweet moments in a past relationship, while ‘Used to it’ sticks to a slower BPM of 65 to emulate his current melancholia since the relationship is no more.
Listen to the EP here:
GIST’s greatest assets and signature sounds are his modulations (a change in style, loudness, etc. of something to achieve an effect/express an emotion), vocal riffs (one word with multiple notes layered), and vocal runs (a high note that quickly drops to a lower note in one vowel/single word). During the hooks of ‘Black Swan’, featuring Leellamarz and DON MALIK, the vocals are busy using these techniques while the instrumentals are relaxed which induces “goosebumps” for the listener.
Interestingly, a wet signal (a sound with effects on it) is used during three of the featuring artists' raps - Woodie Godchild in ‘1 more min’, labelmate Skinny Brown in ‘UNHAPPY’, and JAEHA for ‘Photo Booth’. While the effects help distinguish the rappers and liven up the tracks, Woodie Godchild tastefully uses the effect alongside synthesizers and MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) instrumentals to create an EDM track which could provide the backdrop for a sweaty underground club. And since ‘1 more min’ is the fourth track, and therefore middle of the EP, it is a welcome change from the other songs which have more R&B/Jazz vibes.
Opening with a female voice saying, “Hey! So, it’s a little awkward. I kinda just wanted to call and get it over with” which fades under a high velocity (the force at which a note is played) saxophone note, ‘Would You Still Love Me’ featuring MELOH uses sampling (a short pre-recorded sound) to enforce the EP’s “lost love” storyline. The grandeur of ‘Would You Still Love Me’ contrasts with the stark simplicity of ‘No Selfie’, a short track which has GIST singing in a higher register while an arpeggiated (a chord broken into a sequence of notes) guitar accompanies in a lower register.
Despite using similar vocal techniques to previously released music, the EP feels like a breath of fresh air from GIST. As this is only the beginning of his journey with Daytona Entertainment, we can look forward to what the future has in store for this talented young rapper.
Rating - 9/10
- Catherine Parker