Jake Shields raps with venom. Hailing from Kodiak in the U.S. state of Alaska and recording under the moniker of Lucid, Jake’s aggressive rapping style, stacked vocals, rapid-fire phrasing and clear enunciation suggest the influence of MCs like Eminem. His lyrics are personal and clever. There’s an edginess and a sense of self-belief in his performance, like Hip-Hop is a release for him – something he creates because he’s compelled to.
Made For Me sounds like catharsis – an educated Hip-Hop acid trip. Beats grind out awash with stark samples on a hypnotic loop. Jake’s metaphysical and occasionally violent lyrical imagery is delivered with a dark sense of humour and a healthy dose of attitude. As comfortable waxing lyrical about revenge and paralysing self-doubt as he is aliens, spaceships and Greek philosophers – Jake throws it all at the wall on Made For Me and asks, “Are you feeling it?”
I first met producer Kwes Darko at Midi Festival in Hyères a few years ago. I was singing with Christian AIDS, Kwes was playing with Psychologist. I was immediately struck by his effervescent personality… this was a man full of hunger, his brain literally overflowing with enthusiasm and ideas.
Building his reputation under the Blue Daisy moniker, his previous work is certainly worth discovering… from the reverb-laden electronica of ‘Bedroom Stories’ to the heavy and fractured hip hop of his dark alter ego Black Dahlia. As for the now, latest EP release Mermaids is a work of pure genius… the lines between his separate projects are starting to blur into one beautiful creation. With reference points to the alternative rap of SpaceGhostPurrp and Burial’s minimalist and industrial beats, Darko’s tortured soul can be found spread across a trio of tracks, balanced out by the introduction of Lizbet Sempa, a new voice to me.. like an angel calling out for hope in the midst of war.
Listen to the complete Mermaids EP below: