by Big Flowers
The Heavy-Fisted Homeliness of High in the Morning
It’s been a while since I’ve heard something from Camden Malik, much a consequence of my own devices. With his most recent release, slid backhanded from the deep threading of the new web, there is a much-welcomed return to all things that stood iconic with Malik’s music. Emanating with a blacktop braggadocio, swimming in silksonic steam, High in the Morning delivers a novel handful of homegrown hype music. This specific brand of wholesome-to-self stereophonics careens from cloud based borderline drill to something so much more ethereal among the tracklist, each song a transmutation of the last’s essence, spinning stance around and around again with the sine waves echoing off the dormancy of the young rapper’s budding history. Studded throughout with the consistent collaboration of a few closely knit producers, the penchant for creating a pumping, turbulent discography is again at the forefront here, mirroring the now emblematic relics of Malik’s releases from a few years ago. On the surface, Camden Malik’s music is topographical, painting a story of its surroundings with different climactic elements brought to the surface with each track, creating steepness with tracks like 2:20AM, and subsequently letting you slide down into the boroughs with him later on with the depths and throes of intimacy that you find with Hit The Moon. Collaborating throughout with what is likely my favorite pairing for Malik, DVNT creates some of the more verdant and lush soundscapes for the emcee to play with, and that’s exactly what he does. There is a very nuanced sense of experimentation, but not in the scientific, laboratorial way, but the get out and get your hands dirty, trial and error type of way. These are the hard-earned fruits of years of labor carving out a sound that is uniquely his, and Camden Malik is worlds apart from his contemporaries. Influenced by those that he calls neighbors in ex-sLUms affiliates, but straying farther and farther from them sonically in his own tunnel network of styles and sensibility, Malik is generating one of the more captivating sounds in New York right now. High in the Morning hallmarks arguably his most important release to date, succinct while still sprawling, these are the Cliffnotes to understanding the short but hyperbolic journey the young artist has labored over for the last half of a decade, and he has righteously landed on mountain-top heights. Spread among the sky, these words are going to glimmer for a long time to come.
Stream High in the Morning below: