“Why oh why do we let our dreams die?… Spread our wings and touch the sky” (Isaac B, Love Yourz)

Isaac B is a musi­cian, hail­ing from Flor­ida, and mov­ing to Lon­don in 2013. He has a bach­el­ors degree in Music Tech­no­logy, and a Mas­ters degree in Music Man­age­ment. This, coupled with his innate know­ledge and skills, means it is no sur­prise that the EP he has just dropped, Chance Ocean, is a beau­ti­fully craf­ted, emo­tion­ally touch­ing, and well pro­duced piece of art. This is why he emphat­ic­ally states, “I am not a rap­per, I’m an artist “. This is the eth­os of hip hop. In the words of KRSONE, “Hip hop is some­thing you live”

The EP jour­neys through waves of emo­tion that emu­late the ocean. It is rough, it is bru­tal. It is rage­ful, and joy­ous, it is beau­ti­ful. it can be calm­ing, and won­der­ful.

Track one, Love Yourz, shows Isaac B’s artistry, com­par­ing his music to  “Picas­so the brush”. He loves his craft so much that he says he might die for hip hop. Equally, it seems as though music saved him when he talks about sui­cide and gang viol­ence: “I’ve come from the low­est of lows”.

The intro to the song is gor­geous, med­it­at­ive, beats and piano, flow­ing right through the entire song. Right at the end the piano takes us out, and as the music­al flow runs through, I feel the ocean flow­ing over my feet stand­ing at the edge of the shore.

Ocean Shore, num­ber two, is a stand out track. The ocean is a vast expanse of the sea, some­thing that is beau­ti­ful but can also over­whelm. “The sea is emo­tion incarn­ate. It loves, hates, and weeps (Chris­toph­er Paol­ini). Chance is defined as a pos­sib­il­ity of some­thing hap­pen­ing, but also to “do some­thing des­pite it being dan­ger­ous or of uncer­tain out­come”, these being them­at­ic through­out. Tak­ing both con­cepts of ocean and chance togeth­er, Isaac B is dar­ing to take risks with his music, and open­ness: “Hip hop is the people… Mov­ing to a freer way of think­ing “ (Erykah Badu).

Again the intro­duc­tion to Ocean Chance, is stun­ning sing­er in the back­drop, with blues gui­tar sounds and a chill out beat, which opens and dis­perses into and through the whole track.

Did You, and High­er Power, both show Isaac B’s eclecticism. The former song, Did You, comes close to being an Afro Beats track. Though a uplift­ing beat, it still man­ages to touch on deep­er issues, par­tic­u­larly when he touches on the good dying young, and touch­ingly stat­ing that he would love Grammy award for his late Grandma. The track, High­er Power dif­fer­en­ti­ates in terms of the beat, but also reaches inside to explore power­ful issues. This time its to explore and con­tem­plate divine powers, and wheth­er there is a reas­on for everything.

Isaac B him­self has said that after the first few tracks, there’s a shift in energy, with rather than reflec­tion, a state­ment, espe­cially on the track I’m Here. I’m Here is most def­in­itely a anoth­er stand out track. At the start, we hear some beau­ti­ful med­it­at­ive music. It truly takes the listen­ers away from their heads and into a dif­fer­ent world, and into the track itself. I’m Here pays homage to lyr­i­cists that paved their way in hip hop. Isaac B has aggress­ive zero tol­er­ance to “whack Emcees “. They, in his world, cru­ci­fy the hip hop game”. This is remin­is­cent of Akala, who says “everything they do is ste­reo­typ­ic­al” (Find No Enemy). Isaac B provides a man­tra through­out I’m Here’: “Have no Fear, I’m here”.

The EP fin­ishes off fin­ishes off with Yourz Truly, his sig­na­ture track. Chance Ocean is an eclect­ic mix of beats, top­ics, and vocals. It also car­ries a theme run­ning through. That would be the role of Chance in terms of risks and fate, and the Ocean, in its over­whelm­ing form, but also calm and gentle form. Regard­ing Isaac B and his EP, take a chance. Dive into the ocean.

Listen Here

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Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor is a Lon­don based writer whose Interests are based primar­ily on music and art and also the philo­sophies and polit­ics that accom­pany them. In addi­tion she has an Msc in psy­cho­logy, has worked as a ther­ap­ist, and paints abstract art pieces.
Kate Taylor

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About Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor is a London based writer whose Interests are based primarily on music and art and also the philosophies and politics that accompany them. In addition she has an Msc in psychology, has worked as a therapist, and paints abstract art pieces.