I love hip hop culture and some of its core values. One of the values that I like to see artists perpetuate is the idea of grinding. You can always tell when an artist is hungry and passionate.
You can usually see this in young artists or artists who are trying to break into the scene. Sometimes you can tell by the amount of music they put out. Sometimes it is the quality of music that can turn heads. Justword and Bondservant, known as Auditory Fabric, could possibly fall into both categories if they continue grinding. They put out a project called Heir Craft September of 2013 and on April 24th, 2014, they released an EP titled Thus Far. If they keep releasing music like this, people will have no choice but to hear what they have to say. Their last project was a great introduction for fans and sounded great musically (Justword produced most of the project as well).
In this review, we will breakdown what fans can expect from the EP, Thus Far.
There are not many rap duos killing the game right now. Part of that may be the culture where people are apart of camps or labels that they rep. Part of the reason might be because it can be hard to keep the chemistry between two artists, as the group matures. Justword and Bondservant compliment each other really well. When listening to their songs, you can hear how close their friendship is by how well they bounce off of each other. On Thus Far, “Do it” displayed the chemistry that I’m speaking of. There was a part in each of their verses that said “all I do is preach the Word of God, I say word is bond/ Every where I go, I’m with my man, they see Word and Bond”. It’s a simple statement but it was like glue in this one song. You could tell that their friendship is much deeper than rap. You get the feel that they do life together. What we hear is simply the fruit of that.
While listening to Thus Far, you will notice how well the beats coincide with their flow. They do a great job weaving word play and lyricism over good beats. Sometimes you get one or the other (an artist with heavy lyricism and lackluster beats or great beats with less complex lyrics). They do not fill every bar with punch lines but there is enough lyrical artistry weaved through the music that you will respect them as rappers when you are done listening.
The production is a little different than what is hot right now (trap beats and EDM type of music). The sound was calm and less hype, but the way they used the drums and bass in their music will still have you bobbing your head. It is a different feel, but it is refreshing. If you are a fan of hip hop, you will enjoy how they merge the mainstream sound with the boom bap sound. They do this really well on “Promotional Use Only!”
Auditory Fabric brings a fresh sound to the genre. Their music doesn’t sound like other rappers music. It sounds like they are confident in who they are and where they are trying to go.
Sometimes when I think of an artist that moves me to worship, I think of a shai linne, Flame or KB because of how centered on Jesus their lyrics are. However, that is one thing I noticed different about Auditory Fabric. The verbiage that floods their lyrics easily translates to people who may not know Jesus, yet at the same time, they are not ashamed about how they have been changed. After you listen, you will walk away knowing that Jesus is number one on their priority list (as it should be).
I found it very creative how they do it. For instance, on their song “Crash Dummy,” they spend the whole song lifting up Jesus, stating how they will not conform and end up like a crash dummy. During the song, they relate using phrases like “You’s faka then all of them bootlegas/move hata” and “Now you makin’ paper/Hollywood like the Lakers/no time for advice/middle finger to the haters.” The latter line may have been a little more edgy, but he used the line while describing mindsets that dominate our culture. The way they intertwined the truth about Jesus and real life jargon together made for worship all throughout this EP.
Areas for Growth
Auditory Fabric pieced together a wonderful project with few holes. However, with any new artist, there is always room to grow. One of the things that you may notice is the lack of choruses. I enjoy the smooth sound of the tracks, but adding a hook that pulls listeners would compliment the the experience.
Another area that they can grow in is their versatility. They have great music and nice lyrics, but at times, it felt like the project had the same flow throughout it. Throwing in a variety of beats and rap styles will stretch them as artists and also showcase the talent that they bring to the table.
Although these are small areas, as they grow in both, it will strengthen their music and brand.
This EP will definitely cause more people to lean in an hear what Auditory Fabric have to say. Their message is straightforward. They mention on an interlude called “Changing Lanes” that they see people changing their names and what they want to be called, but they made it clear that they just want the body to move forward. You can hear it in their music as well. They don’t get caught up in the gimmicks and they want to see people meet Jesus. If you have not heard of this group, this EP will be a great introduction for you.