Slowthai has shared the poignant ‘feel away’ which sees the Northampton rapper showcase his sensitive side on a collaboration with James Blake and Mount Kimbie. It arrives as our Track of the Day.
The track is a return to his more emotional, unfeigned style that we saw glimpses of on his debut record Nothing Great About Britain where he wore his heart on his sleeve on songs like ‘Toaster’ and ‘Ladies’ but was fairly absent from his larger than life 2019 album.
His three previous singles before ‘feel away’ this year have seen Slowthai miss the mark as he opted to amp himself even further than on his debut and become a cartoonish version of himself, an obvious attempt to try and bed in with the American hip-hop scene which lacked the sincerity that oozed out of his debut. Those efforts, it’s safe to say, missed the special ingredient that made him such a unique talent.
Thankfully, on ‘feel away’, Slowthai offers a reminder of why he made himself the man of 2019 as he shows everybody that it was too early to write him off after a couple of misses on his recent releases. In truth, 2020 has been a nightmare for the rapper after his stupid actions earlier this year at the NME awards and, on ‘feel away’, he seems to reflect on his own behaviour in a manner that he lacked on ‘enemy’—an effort which saw him vent his frustration about the backlash.
“Suddenly I’m half the man I used to be,” he raps in a moment of clarity before later adding, “It’s not you, so I guess it’s me“. ‘feel away’ is a track that Slowthai needed to make and put down his hardman persona for a moment to allow him to showcase his fragile side, which helped make him a rare talent.
Mount Kimbie’s production gets the best out of the rapper by supplying a beautiful and slower beat that suits Slowthai perfectly. It sees him move away from the trap-influenced beats of his previous three singles, with James Blake also providing a sprinkling of his magic on the track on top. After a year to forget for Slowthai, ‘feel away’ is a step firmly in the right direction and offers a reminder that there is a person under the cartoon image he has been hiding behind.