Gp’s latest release, “The Bleach Tape”, feels like the realization of a voice he’s been working towards: one that is both fluid and all angles, vacillating between naked introspection and pushing us as far away as possible. He is whittling away carefully at the tendencies he’s probably always had, remaining confident that he’ll light upon something that feels fresh and honest. He sticks to introspective territory His molasses-thick vocals roll through tongue-twisting wordplay, battling to be heard over his bass-heavy beats. Most of the album has this consistent sound of dirty, low-fi, grimy drum and chords. Gp seems to be dragging us through the mud, taking us down into the sewers, bringing us into the dark hole of his innermost feelings.
Within the space of this dark and cosmic sound, Gp is completely illuminated. The texture of this sound works perfectly with his lyricism, the imagery doesn’t attempt to be poppy and happy, he’s releasing the skeletons hidden in closets and giving them something to dance to. Unfiltered, Gp doesn’t hold anything back. Not only does this album reinforce that Gp is a capable lyricist, but that Bleach is growing his legs as a producer. It’s also an album where you can tell the artist found his voice, overcoming any pressures of expectation, by delivering something completely different to the norm.
This is an album that will solidify Gp as an alternative hip hop artist of the underground, and hopefully will open ears to the tremendous talent that Gp contains. He isn’t a rapper you’d be likely to hear at a nightclub. His music is best savored in your bedroom, on your own, or walking on a quiet night with a pair of headphones on, trying to decipher his complex wordplay and metaphors, that are laced with life incidents that influence his lyrics.
“The Bleach Tape” is not for the casual hip-hop fan. But the album, just as it does not pander to the casual hip-hop fan, does not pander to any typical genre expectations either. It commands the casual fan to take a leap of faith, and it commands the stuck-up hiphop head to chill out and enjoy it for a moment.
That said “The Bleach Tape” is not an easy listen. The beats are dark, spacey and mostly slowed down, while the rapping matches the beats with the vocals all wrapped up in layers of reverb. That’s not to say that this album is simply a desolate soundscape, and there are certainly tracks that aren’t so overwhelmingly somber.
Though the whole record is tied together by its minor key, each beat has a surprising amount of depth and range considering how purposefully minimal they all are. The music sits somewhere between Trip-hop and shoegazing – an unlikely genre for rapping over, which makes listening to the album all the more interesting.
Gp can sometimes appear slightly monotonous in his delivery, but he still grabs the listener’s interest with his offbeat tempos and intricate wordplay. The way each word and rhyme seems to puncture the track that it is on, is impressive.
Now that Gp has control of his own musical platform, it’s fast becoming clear that he intends to continually push himself both lyrically and creatively, whilst also pushing important messages into the listener’s ear. It is clear from the get-go that this project is a personal one.
But most clearly, he pushed himself to be honest through his music. The combination of creativity and courage to try something different showcases an ambitious project that is devoid of club bangers and street anthems as we know them. Tracks of note include: “Mission”, “OutSider”, “Sorry”, “Hate” and “Bleach”.