“Searchin’” the latest single by Kyle Rapps and Hefna Gwap featuring Aaron Cohen was produced by Fudge and employs the use of a horn and keyboard sample from Roy Ayers track of the same name, off his critically acclaimed 1971 release, Ubiquity. And although Fudge produced track echoes the jazzy feel of A Tribe Called Quest’s “Jazz (We’ve Got the),” it deals with a common theme of hip-hop – what one’s neighborhood means to their identity and what keeping it real really means. And in this song, each emcee talks about how remember where you came from and how it shaped you is important, while being true to yourself and your frailties, limitations and strengths is really keeping it real. The song features each emcee discussing their upbringing, their individuality and their fears with an unvarnished honesty that’s uncommon to most contemporary hip-hop.
The gorgeously shot official video, directed by Jason Ano has the trio of emcees walking around New York in the summertime – in particular, Harlem, East River Park and Bedford Stuyvesant where they pay homage to the legendary Notorious B.I.G. And in many ways, the video captures the city I love so much – its grittiness and its sublime beauty that you can encounter just by walking down the street. It also pays homage to New York’s role as the birthplace of all things hip-hop and you can’t go wrong with that, ever. But there’s one other thing: the video manages to show that even in times of such heightened racial divisions that music – in particular hip-hop – is a unifying force.