How does this guy do it??? Levi Deadman keeps putting together complex yet shockingly catchy records one after another. His newest showpiece is Agony, the second song off the Rise Up Lights EP. Agony reinforces the public’s positive perception of the Rap artist’s pen game. With bewildering detail and unique imagery depicted in true-to-life lyrics, the record is a summarization of Levi Deadman’s own trials and tribulations as per the artist’s own admission: “The track is based off the emotion that comes with reminiscing on a character, building memory, basically the hard times that mold us into our current form. I did three years in prison and Loonar, also legally named Levi, was arrested twice.” Loonar being both the sound engineer and the main collaborator for the EP.
With a combination of intensely sounding synths and fantasy-like short echoes, Levi Deadman bolts in with the hook: “Wicked like a Wiccan with a past life/ Chick look finger-licking Imma ask nice,” which is then picked up by Loonar, “Agony got the best of me in my past life/ Been locked up twice had to learn to act right.” The split between the two bars is f*cking genius as it becomes this catchy hook with a savage twist. Just when you thought you caught on to Levi Deadman’s melodic line, Loonar hits you with a spin and your brain goes: whaaaaat? and you find the second part of the hook brilliantly complementing the first one. These two men literally employed what professional hit songwriters call alteration of expectation. That’s when you spice your song up so that the listener doesn’t get bored with too much predictability. Then, as a matter of fact, by repeating it twice, the duo satisfies as well the need for repetition. Yes, hit songwriting goes that deep. It satisfies the acoustic needs of the human brain. Best part? We got a strong hunch they did this rather intuitively than going by the book.
“Debauchery incarnated/ Dry hating/ Dripping satan/ Pistol grip pearl/ The nina that b*tch nickle plated/ Casting shade I activate the rays/ Dip in my whip I’m racing actin’ ray to all you haters/ Faded like a comb and razor,” goes the lower-pitched voice of Loonar. The prolonged effect brings an unusual degree of closeness between total madness and creative genius. If we were to show you what an extreme fine line means, this is it. Seriously! The public is left gawking at the song and right when you think this guy must be kidding as we don’t get to hear his actual voice for a long time, he reverts back to his normal Rap voice with: “Slide by in tie-dye/ With mytys and my tie/ Both hanging out the driver-side.” And now you understand this was intentional after all! Just mental how Loonar succeeds in achieving a sonic equilibrium between collaborating, the beat, voice, alterations, effects, lyrics, metaphors. A regular artist would have drowned long ago.
The second verse is significantly widened in meaning by both the direct change of wordplay and the use of Levi Deadman’s natural voice: “Better believe/ When I’m letting off steam/ That I parted the seas/ Just to party with Jesus/ I vetted regimes/ With the starch and the crease/ Took a bottle of bleach/ To the dome.” You’ll have noticed by now that the artist is not afraid to be theatrical and exaggerate certain sound inflictions or put pressure on certain words. Decorative schemes of this grandeur are zero to none to come by in this day and age.
The last four bars of the second verse are the indubitable coronation of Agony: “You love it it’s stupid/ Influenced by music/ I write it you use it/ Like drugs in your veins.” This right here is the ultimate expression of playing pop culture and mass interests to your advantage. Flipping the drug use to flex your songwriting skills is the dopest thing we’ve yet heard this month. Pun intended. After all, The American Film Institute listed Breaking Bad as one of the top ten television series of 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Agony is a true masterpiece, if not THE masterpiece of Levi Deadman available to the public in the present moment and it features a new name on the market, that of Loonar. The song allows you to enjoy both their songwriting mastery which is in the year 3000 and their storytelling ability which is otherworldy.
Song Credits: Levi Fuchs (Levi Deadman) – Artist, Songwriter; Levi Nichols (Loonar) – Songwriter, Sound Engineer, Additional Production; The Russian Plug (Wendigo) – Music Producer.
Written by Mariana Berdianu
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