“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.
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- POETRY | ‘THE CRUELEST LIE’ ( A DEDICATION TO MY LATE FATHER) BY KATE TAYLOR — June 14, 2020