Abstract variations of droney instrumentals mix with outsider beats and introspective slam-poetry style rapping on Pink Navel’s most personal release yet. Polished, synth-driven production slither between melancholic themes, illustrating bittersweet tones whilst his sometimes robotically-delivered lyrics portray an awkwardly depressive persona.
As highlighted in the alarmingly casual spilling of, “I just want to kill myself right now”, in the intro of ‘1957-fxr-upr.dev’, raw navel outlines the inconsistencies of the mind with the album going on to be saturated with self-questioning and the desire to alternate oneself. Touching upon ideas of self-depreciation, seemingly sexuality-defining confusion and family contention, the powerful, “I don’t know who the fuck I am”, on ‘shower-song.dev’ effectively sums up the touchy subject matters throughout that make raw navel quite the emotional trip into existentialism.
Switching between upbeat, yet slow instrumental tracks and powerful lyrical canvases, the saturating and characteristic synths evolve around excellent sampling and warm kits. Evident within the beat evolution of ‘1957-fxr-upr.dev’, Bee’s experimental production chops are there to be praised. Similarly on the emotionally epic closer, ‘navel-jutsu.dev’, the evolution from melancholic drone into an absolutely stunning atmospheric beat leads the album to conclusion whilst each synth drips with hopeful undertones. Mingling between these tones, Bee’s wordplay shines with very interesting flow and abstract rhyme patterns that play off each beat, just as in ‘song-with-changeup.dev’ where, “…between the kick and snare”, rebounds cleverly with an imposed kick and snare to humorously powerful effect. It’s these little things on raw navel that stick out and consequently indent.
Bee’s more abstract instrumentation does sometimes overstay it’s welcome however, with the signature synth tone a consistently prominent feature throughout almost every track. Luckily it’s a beautifully warm voice, yet breaking away from that shtick could provide opportunity for the saturation of more slow, moody and equally powerful production that focuses on differing tones. This is perfectly achievable, as raw navel makes it very clear that his abilities behind the drum machine and synthesiser are far from elementary. Don’t in any way let this deter you, as the overall sound produced by these saturating synths is crisp and far from annoying, and in raw navel’s case, it furthers the concept commendably but it still could be more.
The strengths of raw navel lie in its personal tinge and, though it may not sound so pivotal in writing, the complexity and relationship between beat and rhyme which is amazingly organic, delivering a deeply heart-on-sleeve reflection of someone that is trying to stick their foot in the door of life. raw navel develops some deeply introspective experimental hip-hop whose poetic ramblings resonate within the listener, as not only the lyrics describe the pallet of emotions felt by the persona.
“Not trying to be cryptic inside
Cos’ really I am tired,
Like, so locked inside my own closet,
Blocked it off
Cos’ all the clothes buying
Don’t fit inside them,
Or around them I guess”
Check it here.
Still pretty salty though cos I ordered the cassette and he canceled on me 😦