Trinidad-born and Romford-raised rapper Berwyn has released his third single of the year, the smooth and bittersweet ‘Rubber Bands’.
The song acts as a sort of concluding chapter to Berwyn’s previous two releases ‘100,000,000’ and ‘I’d Rather Die Than Be Deported’. While the former two songs detail the stark realities of Berwyn’s struggles with immigration and having to live in his car to survive, ‘Rubber Bands’ follows what happens when you finally put down roots, only to have them ripped up and cause another transitional period to start. Perpetual motion is a common thread throughout all three tracks, with the rapper/singer unable to find the solid ground he’s been searching for.
Berwyn’s unique blend of vivid lyricism and alternating vocal patterns, from his detached flow to his impressive singing voice, serves to elevate beyond some of its more mundane features. “Smoke a lot of weed, get you out of my head” is the kind of hook line that could easily fall into lazy stoner cliches in the wrong hands, but Berwyn makes it sound mournful and immediate, burying a deep-seated pain that won’t go away.
The artist’s second full-length project, TAPE 2 / FOMALHAUT, is set for a summer release, coming on the heels of his acclaimed debut DEMOTAPE/VEGA, which produced the hard-hitting single ‘VINYL’ and brought acclaim from the likes of the BBC ‘Sound of’ poll, which placed the young artist at its number three spot last year.
One of my favourite parts of the press release for ‘Rubber Bands’ is how it mentions an influx of requests from English teachers around the country who want to analyse Berwyn’s lyrics for kids in grammar school. I think it’s doubtful that ‘Rubber Bands’ will inspire a similar batch of requests unless a lot of teachers get real cool about some illicit materials real quickly.
Check out the video for ‘Rubber Bands’ down below. TAPE 2 / FOMALHAUT will be released on June 18.