by E. Branden Hart

We didn’t get into publishing to work with music, but we couldn’t pass up this opportunity. Not too long ago, “Wandering Light” author Aaron Farrell, a.k.a Saint Jame, sent us a song for our review. We decided to give it a go, and I’m glad we did. It’s a great hip hop anthem, and Aaron’s chops show promise.

The song starts with a low, droning note that eventually gives way to a laid-back beat that drops in heavy. Farrell’s raps are cerebral and progressive—you won’t be hearing about bling or hos in his work. There is a clear sociopolitical flavor to this song, as shown in lines like:

How many times do I gotta get stopped by the cops for some shit I didn’t do/
Really? I ain’t been around that side of town but they say that I look identical.

The song keeps your head bopping, but Farrell also institutes a unique rhythm in the raps themselves that often acts as a contrapuntal compliment to the underlying beat. I found myself listening not only to the words, but to their free-flowing cadence fluctuate throughout the song.

My only complaint is that the somewhat-longish freestyle that makes up the final third of the song was a little distracting. I would have preferred a third verse to continue exploring what Farrell had established as his own unique voice in the first two. Regardless, this song is worth a listen for hip hop fans who align themselves with artists like Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, and Murs. An overall solid debut from Saint Jame!

E. Branden Hart is Executive Editor of Empty Sink Publishing.