'F*@k It,' Bari's New Album Burns Down Preconceptions of Hip-Hop's Future
Evan Dale // Nov 19, 2020
The word prolificity doesn’t do Bari justice. The word experimental doesn’t either. The transcendent St Louis rapper, melodist, and all-around alien force on the hip-hop evolution towards a cyber trap lane of his own making, is best described using the ashes of a hip-hop foundation in a hip-hop future where his newest album brings flame to everything coming before it.
F*@k It… Burn It All Down
In the wake of last month’s full-length delivery, Layer Cake, Bari is continuing to pace a path that none before him have so effortlessly navigated, sake for the renowned producers who have walked alongside him on this journey: VZN, Blake Wright, Monte Booker, Alley Knock, Niko the Great. Together, they’ve crafted a blueprint on how to create hip-hop for future generations living in faraway galaxies. Together, they’re burning it all down. Its title speaks directly to the corrosive acidity with which Bari’s music dissolves existing conceptions of hip-hop. In place of those preconceptions, Bari creates, with vivacity, a thesis on grandiose boundlessness where hip-hop music transcends from its now to its then.
F*@k It… Burn It All Down (FIBIAD) is Bari’s fourth release of length since last year’s MSTRGLSS which paved the way for Neva Look Back. In process, an evolution and refinement of Bari’s sound becomes apparent. Each of his projects hone his unique aesthetic – an aesthetic defined by short tracks with long-winded bouts of bass; defined by quick-hitting cadence and drawn out exhibitions of his vocal range; defined by an affinity for the electronic nuance coming into balance with a trap heavy leaning towards the unendingly experimental; defined by – as we said when Layer Cake was released – a meeting of the street corner cypher and the hi-hi future cyber. Ultimately, Bari is best described as Bari. No one has done what he’s doing before. And penultimately, FIBIAD is another brashly unpredictable chapter – the stamp on a two-year run unparalleled in invention and creative courage
At its furthest push, Bari’s effortless ability to use his voice as a multi-tooled weapon comes into focus with FIBIAD. Always a master of utilizing a vocal range that can ease between low-toned & quick-cadenced raps, high-ranging & emotion fueled vocal runs, and a wavering middle-ground that defines most of his anthemic hooks, the range of producers also involved with the new album evoke an even more dynamic fluidity in Bari’s aesthetic expanse.
Just listen to leading single, Sosabucks. There are two ways to do so. First, listen as if Bari’s melodically liquid flow is nothing more than an instrument for melody itself. Then, listen (maybe a few times over to catch every word) to Bari’s words as a vehicle for his penmanship. What a listener subsequently unveils is a dynamic understanding of hip-hop from an artist that has rightfully earned a cosign and a handful of mutual creative influence from one of hip-hop’s most enigmatic wordplay heroes: Smino. Seemingly, there’s something in that St. Louis water that has given rappers like Bari and Smino a way of thinking in two directions at once. In one direction – the lyrical one – Bari adheres to the poetically inclined past of hip-hop where words hold weight, tell stories, and immerse a listener in the mind of a rapper. In the other direction – the melodic one – Bari leans on beats and grandiose production that no other modern rapper has the courage to take on, and in suit, allows his flow to drive immense creative uniqueness into a futuristic adjoining of the rapped and the sung, where each verse – each line – comes as an unpredictable homage to and complete diversion from not only all hip-hip, but all music, period, to come before him.
F*@k It… Burn It All Down breathes of its title with every melodically experimental line that comes from Bari’s mouth.
Each track throughout FIBIAD’s 18-song track list can boast the same worthy deeper dive. Each one varies based on a complicated algorithmic identity reliant on where Bari’s experimentally inclined producers take their nuances; reliant on where Bari himself takes his raps and his vocals. But, as a whole, F*@k It… Burn It All Down succeeds as hip-hop’s most experimental name delivering his most experimental collective work to date, breaking down walls of – burning down – whatever space it was that hip-hop was existing in before his dynamic run into a future that – thanks to Bari – is nigh.