There’s an incredibly deep level of thoughtfulness to Rio137’s songwriting, which greatly appeals for its introverted and questioning perspective, but which also contrasts intensely with the somewhat mighty and passionate leading vocal performance he uses to drive this release through.
The visuals are stunning, Rio137 has done a superb job in crafting a visual arena that walks hand-in-hand with the track and its underlying concept. The artist’s performance throughout also holds tight to that compelling element of intrigue and deep thought, whilst adding just enough of the unsettling, disjointed darkness to really make sure you’re paying attention. This is one of the year’s most conscious or interesting rap releases this side of the Quad Cities, Iowa. Well worth exploring.
While you’re likely to find yourself impressed by the vocal delivery on this track, the song itself is one that inescapably weaves its way into your consciousness in a pretty unforgettable manner. It’s not easy to do that these days when so much new hip hop hits the airwaves every hour, but Rio137 has found a way – and this is done without excessive levels of volume or unnecessary drops.
The track is minimalist for the most part, standing tall on the strength of its own unique concept and confidence. That second word is something that drives the energy of this whole project – the further you get into the playlist, the faster and more intensely these lyrics pour through. So much so that a single listen or even two is far from enough to catch every idea. “Soldiers Cry” is a mighty example of this, a track that blows you away with its rap delivery and the sheer volume of words among such a calming, spacious backdrop.
There’s undoubtedly something musically characterful about this track, it feels in some respects like a classic, alternative hip-hop piece, but the quality of the sound and the instrumental and sample choices – even the placement of the leading voice within the mix – all point in a slightly left-of-center direction. As you listen to more of Rio137’s music, this quickly becomes a lasting trait of his sound and his approach to expression.