William Ragland continues to prove how vital he is to keeping the music scene interest, most recently through his grimy hip-hop project Base. Here you have the ugliest sounds, harsh industrial tones, repurposed and recontextualized into a brutalistic new whole. In so many ways, this is the merging of hip-hop and punk, just raw and unfiltered, and completely unflinching in the face of controversy. Obvious references here are Death Grips, but I would draw equal comparisons to the perverse oddity of Clipping or the dense sonic haze of Dälek, two hip-hop acts that turn the genre on it’s head. This is heavy music rich with sub bass, and draped in the darkest lyrics.
The video mirrors that darkness, a night time trip down alleys wet with the condensation of the city, the gutters and back ways behind the glitz and glamour. Something bad happened here, a glimpse at the thousand personal tragedies that happen in the black of the evening, away from prying eyes. While that certainly comes with a lot of weight, it likewise speaks to our privacy, our time away from screens or “likes” and all the trappings of modern culture, a gritty reminder that life is more than just the things you read or watch. Sometimes it’s ugly, sometimes it’s beautiful. Sometimes you see so much that you become numb, as the lyrics imply. But we all face our own struggles in our own ways.
Watch below and let the cool night air touch your skin.