Reported by Imani Wj Wright
I’ve been formally writing music reviews since I was 19 years old. And since that time, there are a few personal “rules'' I've assigned myself to follow. I won’t give them all away here, but I’ll let you in on one of them. Rule #2 in my book, Don’t speak about genre. Now, let me get into a little more detail with rule #2. My theory has always revolved around implicit bias. I never wanted to turn an audience member off by giving them an outright chance to prejudge a record based on its musical category. I’d rather focus on the actual quality and elements of the sound. Good music is good music. But you know what they say, ‘Rules are meant to be broken.” And dammit, this is HipHop, so let’s break them!
Before we get into the nitty gritty of our subject today, artist Amarie Farari, let’s take a deep dive into what HipHop represents. In 2019, my team and I had the pleasure to attend the Annual Congressional Black Caucus Conference in Washington, D.C. One of the events held at the conference was titled: “Hip Hop & Politics.” Some names on the event’s panel included Ro James, Chi Ali Griffith, and Tamika Mallory. Hosting the event was political commentator, Roland Martin, draped in a dashiki that went to his ankles. Afterwards, I had a chance to ask him: “What can we take out of HipHop?” He carefully responded: “Well, what we can take from it, is the unwillingness to ask permission. That's the thing. You look at the origins of it, folks didn’t ask permission. They created this whole art form that turned into this worldwide phenomenon, and we must have the same attitude.” That last word is important here. Attitude. It takes some gusto, confidence, and unapologetic confidence to take the HipHop world head on.
When I listen to Amarie Farari, I get a lot of that needed swagger that people yearn for when getting into rhymes. On his record, “Wopping,” you can hear his deliberate and almost eerily menacing delivery. This impressed me. Ferari not only raps about what he’s been through lyrically, he also does it through cadence and expression. Between most of his lines, there are slight pauses. This gives the audience time to really digest what they’ve heard. The few milliseconds of silence are effective. On that record, he raps: “I would never switch up on my bros. I been through so much, I barely crack a joke.” The grit of that is also spit with a genuine tone.
But hold the hell up! Do you know what track really stands out on this project? And I mean, genuinely shows a plethora of genres and talent. “Cinderella Story” ft. Official Remedy. This is where we get a deep rooted breadth of Farari as a songwriter, performer, and overall curator of sound. The piece begins with some rock-ish acoustic/electric guitar, while Farari sings melodies over top. It’d be safe to describe the opening singing to be close to that of RnB. Though, as it continues, there are feelings of Rock, HipHop, and even Gospel. The choir adds a chilling “cherry on top” to the already engaging and emotionally filled song. This is more of an experience than anything. I try to bring joyful moments, and real life situations that my listeners can relate to.” Said Farari.
With a project that gives audience members such a vast taste of what Amarie Farari has to offer, one may wonder what his process is like, and how he goes about writing his work. Farari answered this question head on and said: “I don’t usually write music, I freestyle anything that comes to mind, depending on the vibe and moment ,but I also make sure my audience can relate.” Now knowing his style, you can hear the free will and lack of dullness within his voice. His ability to articulate his stories with ease, gives a very raw and uncut feeling that many will appreciate.
From the instrumentation to the vocal deliveries on Trap Opera, the potential, musicality, and current dedication can be hard through your speakers. Seeing an artist be so comfortable with his varying approaches can give you a boost of confidence. Too often people become comfortable, and too often that is dangerous for progression. We’re looking forward to seeing this brother grow and excel.
Listen to Trap Opera by Amarie Farari:
Amarie Farari on Instagram: