By Aurelius Raines lll “The Third”
The concept of “same topic, different approach” has always been attractive to me, especially when it comes to music. Because of the artist’s own swagger and perspective, the songs stand out in their respective genres in a way that redefines music.The way that Lucki, Jhene Aiko, and Trip Lee approach the topics of desire, love, and perseverance shed a whole new light on the issues we have as people and the journey we must travel to solve them.
Lucki Ecks, “Count On Me”
The 7th track of his debut mixtape Alternative Trap, “Count On Me” is a slow and hazy-sounding record proclaiming Lucki’s skills as a drug dealer. He’s the man his clients can rely on for whatever they may need. “Count On Me” is not the typical I’m-the-plug-hit-me-up-song — in this song he seems to care more about his customers feelings and how he can help them. Lucki’s word usage when speaking to his potential customers conveys that notion that they can trust him with their money, making him seem a lot more appealing than other drug-dealing rappers who proudly confess to finessing the plug.
Lucki’s song “Count On Me” takes us through the pathos and credibility involved in selling a drug that will “get you where you want to be.”
Jhene Aiko, “Bed Peace”
In Jhene Aiko’s song “Bed Peace,” she spends the first 34 seconds lamenting over the daily, troublesome duties of life such as, “getting paper,” “doing my hair,” and “putting on makeup”. Aiko doesn’t enjoy these things as most women might, but instead finds them as more of a necessity. In conveying that message, she also alludes to the fact that those things are superficial and are for self-conscious people. After complaining about those things, she begins to fantasize about what she’d do “if she had it her way.” She talks about waking up late and smoking to relieve the stress she has from her responsibilities, and seeking love from a specific person.
Aiko makes good use of her first collaboration with hip-hop and R&B phenom Childish Gambino, as she speaks to him about her wishes for them as an item.” Gambino takes it upon himself to respond and reciprocate the feelings and desires that Aiko has, admitting that, “It’s not love but it’s real close,” given that earlier Aiko said, “…then we f**k, and then you give me my space.” Gambino puts the icing on the cake by emoting his thoughts about their relationship and not wanting to “stop on cloud 20.”
With the combination of Aiko wanting to get away from the troubles of life by finding refuge in a man, and Gambino wanting to, “See the beauty of a momma on the inside,” the song as a whole makes for a wave-riding love letter — and an insight into the potential intimate relationship the two artists may have outside of the studio.
Trip Lee, “Sweet Victory”
The second single off Trip Lee’s new album Rise, “Sweet Victory,” reflects on Lee’s battle with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and how no matter the struggles he faces as a Christian, he has sweet victory in Christ.
Using a self-produced beat, Lee incorporates trumpets into the beat, which usually evoke the feeling of accomplishment — or victory. The heroic upbeat instrumental gives way to Lee spitting about the struggles he encounters through his walk of faith and the fact that he overcame them. “I feel thorns where my crown was, I be weak but I’m alive….,” featured singer Dimitri McDowell triumphantly belts during the chorus.
This line specifically refers to Jesus’ crucifixion when he was given a crown of thorns and mocked. Lee describes his change of feelings from being well and noble, to hurt and discouraged. The inspiration for the song is 1 Corinthians 15:57, which says “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.“ After releasing the song, Lee tweeted “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” Trip Lee’s “Sweet Victory” lets the audience know that whatever test and trials you face in life, you can always find strength in God.