RappaHeartless was literally the very first rapper that I met when I moved to Chicago in September of 2012. We attended Columbia College Chicago together and lived across the hall from each other in the University Center dormitories. Since our meeting and initial collaborations we've both grown tremendously in our artistry and craft. Getting to interpret and write about his latest single, "Better Days" brings me much joy, as I believe this is the best RappaHeartless record that I've ever heard.
RappaHeartless has historically been a HARD rapper, to put it simply, he tears up the mic with his flows and chopping of consonants. Every stage we hit together, it wasn't a laid back vibe like the one you'll be surprised to hear in "Better Days", we were always explosive. RappaHeartless brings a sincere, honest, soft, smooth, and mellow tone in this track, which somehow ends up being his HARDEST hitting record to date, the emotion behind what he's saying paired with the almost sad-like, melancholy flow as if he were slowly recounting a tragic story. And the tale RappaHeartless tells is tragic as is it is inherently human, Black American, and relatable. The idea of being unfairly fired for the color of your skin or the ethnicity in which you are, is something many will identify with in this song.
"Bottom after bottom ain't no sympathy you worthless, and your families will tell you that they got you they be bluffing." These are some of the first few lines that stood out to me, the idea of feeling so low and not being able to rely on your own family is tough and affects many people.
The song goes into detail about RappaHeartless holding down a high paying career job that seems to be like living the dream until...he gets called into the office for something he didn't do or was unfairly accused of, leading to the conclusion he was most likely fired for being black. Racism and racist practices at places of employment plague many people of color and RappaHeartless recounts this story well over the instrumental, really engaging the listener to pay attention to his soft-spoken attitude and calm demeanor in the music video.
"I simply started laughing and asked about my check, I walked up out the office, they fired me for being black." RappaHeartless explains how he can't believe he's about to be let go and his attitude is already being considered hostile, since some white people seem to be so afraid of black people expressing themselves. We've all been fired from jobs I'm sure, but not every demographic experiences this type of workplace prejudice and racism, which is why we must be aware of it and call it out. The simple fact that RappaHeartless dropped this record is a great call on a topic we can all be more mindful of.
"I pat myself on the shoulder for staying calm, part of me had wanted to snap out like time bombs, I drove from the gig and was speeding like NASCARS, all I'm thinking to myself is that's the end of my dream dawg!" An another dope string of lines from the Chicago born emcee, to be zipping out of work under the intense angry energy of just being fired is no joke, be careful maneuvering the whip, and don't take it lightly.
All of this leads into the smoothly sung hook "I seen better days...better days...I seen better days...they took my dream away..." As an artist who used to make music with this man, hearing him sing in such a "piano" style is mind blowing, the lightness of his voice just glides over the beat in an almost folk meets hip hop meets soft rock rhythm. RappaHeartless drops a 2nd slightly shorter verse before going into another hook that fades into a whisper before going into a final hook that brings the power out of the end of the song.
Structurally and composition wise the pacing of this song is highly appealing, as is the mixing of his vocals on the hook, the slow paced timing of his cadence and flow, mixed with his honest story telling lyricism. All of this creates an incredibly marketable piece of music by the multi-talented businessman and rapper, RappaHeartless.
Be sure to follow RappaHeartless on YouTube and InstaGram, as well as stream his new music video to his latest single, "Better Days", from the album Hear Me Out, currently streaming everywhere!