Remi is a 23 year-old Melbourne, Australia-based emcee and along with collaborator and producer Sensible J have quickly risen to national and international prominence with 2014 being the duo’s breakthrough year as their Raw X Infinity was critically and commercially successful. The album was named Triple J‘s Album of the Week, the Independent Hip Hop Album of the Year by the Australian Independent Record Association and received praise from internationally recognized media outlets and tastemakers including OkayAfrica, JUICE and laut.de, NPR‘s All Things Considered, and others. Adding to a rapidly growing national and international profile, the duo were named “Australian Breakthrough Artist of the Year,” toured nationally and across both the UK and Continental Europe and have shared stages with the likes of Danny Brown, Vic Mensa, De La Soul, Joey Bada$$ and Damon Albarn.
Divas and Demons is the Australian duo’s forthcoming full-length effort, and the album’s first single “For Good” is a collaboration that features Sydney, Australia-based poet, visual artist and singer/songwriter Sampa The Great adding soulful backing vocals to the song’s infectious hook and spitting a few bars herself during the song’s shimmering and cosmic bridge. Now, if you were frequenting this site over the the last half of 2015, Sampa The Great might be familiar to you, as she collaborated with a fellow Sydney-based singer/songwriter Wallace on the skittering and jazzy single “Beauty” and interestingly enough, this particular track has Sampa The Great channeling both Macy Gray and Lauryn Hill. Remi’s husky vocals and cool, effortless flow is reminiscent of LL Cool J, Q-Tip and Snoop Dogg with a distinctly Australian accent. Lyrically speaking, the song is a charming and coquettish love song in which its male and female narrators finally committing to each other after a childish and dysfunctional relationship in which they fuss and fight, cheat and drive each other nuts — and yet they both realize that they can’t possible dream of a life apart. This back and forth duet is paired with a buoyant and swooningly soulful Sensible J. production consisting of Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar and boom bap drum programming and Simon Mavin’s cosmically shimmering and jazzy keyboard chords. Although incredibly contemporary, the song sounds as though it could have been released sometime between 1997 and 2002 — and in some way sounds as though it draws from The Roots and Erykah Badu‘s “You Got Me,” and others.
Certainly, much like Monikker‘s debut single “Heaven on Earth (Gotta Go),” Remi’s latest track is a testament to the power and influence of hip-hop’s beloved golden era while reminding the listener of two things — that hip-hop truly is the linga franca of anyone under about 45 or so and that in the age of mainstream, conglomerate radio stations shilling soulless and prepackaged bullshit that you can find meaningful and thoughtful music if you’re willing to put in some work.