Released: August 14, 2012
A life has emerged out of the depth of the dirt right through the splits of the concrete taking the identity- uhlife. A mysterious vagabond that has derived abruptly is ready to feed the minds and souls of the wanderers of the earth through eclectic sounds, enforcing no boundaries with a 14-track mixtape debut, (barely)uhlive, in which producers: RAJA, Quantic, Absent Avery, Stak, Shlohmo, Knxledge, Jonwayne, and Just Blaze provide refreshing vibrations.
The out-of-nowhere artist, sets the tone with precision right off the top with the first track “?uiet”. The track begins with a low static sound that is intertwined with a mysterious and dark drum, laughter, clap, and occasional flickering of what sounds like a light switch, creating the ambience for what is to be expected throughout the project- a mixture of sounds that combine together to uniquely generate a sound that we all unknowingly have been thirsting for.
The spontaneous uhlife, holds nothing back as is evident in the lyricism of “tables”, unveiling dark and troubled thoughts- “Feet over my grave, standing below the heavens, eyes searching for paradise, lost in the distance. I’m trippin’, clumsy with no balance. Drowning aloud, trying to keep my thoughts silent. High as the sound as sad violins, lighting the peace pipe- eyes full of violence. Lord, where do I go?” On the Quantic produced “4 5” uhlife elaborates further on these inner thoughts, emphasizing on who or what this mysterious name might be- “…who, what, where, am I? Maybe I’m a ghost, maybe I’m a monster, maybe I’m myself, maybe an imposter. I don’t really know, maybe I just lost it. Maybe you can show me a place I belong in.”
Cuts like the Jonwayne produced “bowser” provide a chill-filled listen as obscure piano keys take the lead, under synthesizers, and heavy bass line. uhlife’s lyricism doesn’t cease the shudder feeling- “I don’t think my mind is fine, I don’t think my brain is sane, I don’t think I’m doing well, carrying all of this pain. Oh oh am I alone again? Loneliness, hello my friend. I’m so glad you’ve come home again, now don’t you ever leave me alone again! Or I’m loading the cag and pulling the trigger, and shooting myself, how you figure? Don‘t second guess, don‘t test my aim…”
Although uhlife comes off throughout most of this project as this dark and twisted filled mind, who recites over grimy beats, the musical vagabond displays versatility over standout tracks “dear whoever”, produced by the notable Just Blaze, and the Knxledge produced “(uh)nthrpuff” in which the project takes a slower tempo through incorporated mellowed horns, saxophones, and strings creating somewhat of jazz felt essence. uhlife’s lyricism is much more uplifting on this type of production focusing more on the teachings and experiences of day to day life.
The project closes out with the same unique fusion of sound it began with on “things i lost” in which an assemble of chimes, clock ticks, creaks, and bird chirpings call for praise to Shlohmo for a rarely heard production in rap music.
Scarcely do we stumble upon an artist that is able to provide a solid project at first coming. But it is safe to say that uhlife is one of the phenomena. This mysterious, obscure, yet vibrant life possesses something promising within the concept of lyricism and production execution that deserves to reach all listeners. One thing that is most intriguing when the listener pays close attention, is that this shadowy persona doesn’t utilize any form of pronouns (such as he, she, her, him etc.) all within the idea of keeping the music away from being exclusive, thus being able to reach and relate to anything and every one. uhlife steps out of the norm of the general rap lyricism and sound, making a refreshing debut with (barely)uhlive onto the artistic platform proving to be nothing less than ill.
You can download the project on his bandcamp.