by Dan O
“I remember the case of a man who was inextricably involved in a number of shady affairs. He developed an almost morbid passion for dangerous mountain climbing, as a sort of compensation. He was seeking ‘to get above himself.’ In a dream one night, he saw himself stepping off the summit of a high mountain into empty space. When he told me his dream, I instantly saw his danger and tried to emphasize the warning and persuade him to restrain himself. I even told him that the dream foreshadowed his death in a mountain accident. It was in vain. Six months later he ‘stepped off into space.’”—Carl Jung, Approaching The Unconscious from Man and His Symbols
Sleep Sinatra has done a lot of talking to himself over the years. Trying to reach a version of himself that he isn’t proud of as well as reach himself now and let go of not being proud of the old him. His newest album(Shadow Self) with dream collaborator producer Ohbliv is the apex of that conversation. It’s funny that I love Sleeps writing style in the same way I love reading Carl Jung(who initiated the symbolic archetype of The Shadow) both can unravel in depth thesis while keeping the language lavish and lush. On Shadow Self the point is unmistakable. Portrait Mode is probably where he most directly leads the listener “Feel at peace when I can flip the passion so the kids can eat. My mission reaching deep in the depths of my psyche now. Shadow self in the cut but my demons doing the ‘wipe me down’.” Ohbliv provides big horns on the track and a sleek snaking baseline. The collaboration shares multiplicities. Ohbliv can make a song that sounds fun, danceable, wistful, mournful all at the same time (see Neuralinc). The key here is that Ohbliv always forces movement which pushes the flow. Sleep can easily body a fractured soul sample Griselda type beat and understands that easily isn’t what this project needs. 2022 has been about Sleep Sinatra pushing himself.
Angel Eyez is where you can feel Ohbliv imbue Sleep with energy and focus as he declares “This that pure electricity rap, its raw energy. Live wire tapped into circuit to burn effigies.” Our narrator gets in touch with his highest heights “Impact your whole style and perspective. My smile shining like sun over the islands. My minds protected by the love and the quest for perfection.” Sleep of the now is on this quest finding power in the love of his children purpose in the art. Shadow Sleep is vivid though, warning us on the very first song, Shadow Self (Intro) “Trying not to let the weapons go, so we can either be at peace or you a stepping stone. On a journey just to make the presence known.”
Shadow Sleep has no problem gameplanning his way straight through your chest. On Level Zero stating flatly “Whoever want to put an end to me. I got angels that’ll give me the perfect angle to dead your reach.” Lots of rap albums wrestle with this dynamic. What makes Shadow Self so unique is that Sleep fully understands you don’t expunge Shadow Sleep. It’s not realistic, healthy, or strategically optimal to exercise your demons in this case. This is still a very cruel world and the skills that Shadow Sleep picked up are still necessary. You still have to see all the angles before they eat you. What this album seeks is integration. A unification of dark and bright energy into a single purpose. What is that single purpose? Buy the album and find out.
Stream then purchase Shadow Self below:
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