Hip-hop is mostly celebrated for its flamboyance and braggadocio, but a few rappers have shown they are still capable of delving deeper with their introspective rap songs. But that sweet spot where conscious rap and meet is where hip-hop GOATs earn their living—just ask Jay Z, Kanye, Drake or even Slim Shady. Zilla Oaks’ latest single, “Calm Down” sits comfortably on that spot too as he takes a fresh look at the changes that come with success.
Higo produces the bass heavy beat with ambient synth harmonies looped over cinematic piano harmonies and vocal melodies that drive home the song’s passionate narrative. The track features vocal accompaniment from Efe Oraka and Kuddiisdead as Zilla Oaks and Omagz rap about a rap career so glorious that you wonder how much of it is factual; “My Nigga Only On The Grammys When You See Us”. But juxtaposing their new found fame documented on their releases and the amount of plays they rack up on Soundcloud, their ambitious brags make sense.
Chanting “Ogbeni Make You Calm Down/ No Dey Rush”, the hook on “Calm Down” is as evocative as it is triumphant. This resonates on the verses as well as Zilla swears he’s blown and Omagz claims upper echelon status. Though the subject matter might not be the most thought provoking, it’s an expansion from drugs, cars that go skrr and their garden tools.
Expected to feature on Zilla’s forthcoming Project, No ZZZZ (No Sleep) “Calm Down” reminds listeners of things they were pissed off about in the past, supports the joys of the present and still makes you want more out of the future.
Listen to the single here.