In The Hour of Solitude: Ceiling Conversations With 8tch
There are times we lie on our backs, staring at the roof while reminiscing about the events that have culminated into our reality. Sometimes we sit back, staring into space, recounting the steps we have taken, the places we have been, the people we met, and the sacrifices we made to get to where we are. We try to make sense of it. We attempt to put together the different pieces of our past in a bid to get our present coordinates to see if it can create a pathway that leads to the future we desire. Sometimes, we take silent walks with a head filled with thoughts and a mind stuffed with questions. We take measured steps heavy with fear of what the future holds and a heart hopeful that prospect lies amidst the bleakness.
There are times of solitude when we are held hostage by our thoughts. When we try to break free from the invisible cage of our fears, hopes, and aspirations. In this quiet hour, we could all use a lifter. And on that note, it’s a pleasure to introduce you to an artistic bliss titled “Ceiling Conversations”.
When I listen to a new artist, I do it with a clean slate. It’s with a curiosity to discover something new. It’s with the excitement of an explorer on an expedition of uncharted territory. And when I happen upon a discovery that leaves me marveling at its wonder, I feel an indescribable pleasure. This is the feeling 8tch’s “Ceiling Conversations” evokes in me.
An emerging artiste with an ability to effortlessly deliver a verse that will blow your mind, 8tch unleashed his super talent in his EP “Ceiling Conversations” Vol. 1. A four-track EP spiced with a soothing interval and remarkable delivery, 8tch announce himself as one to look out for.
The first track eponymously named “Ceiling Conversations” is a cover of Fireboy’s “
Like I Do”. 8tch captures the crazy world of young love. The tough process of letting go and the hurt of seeing your Ex happy without you. The feeling of watching his peers drive past on the fast lane and the pressure to catch up. The frustration of feeling left behind in a fast-moving world and the fear of giving so little when so much is expected.
To be stuck between the soothing words of a caring mother and the reality of a struggling young man. The fear that talents and hardwork might not be enough and the desperation brought by the unending wait for luck. On this track, 8tch raps mostly in English. Delivering effortlessly on a slow tempo-beat passing across his message in a swaggering, calm, clear, and precise manner. The first track will leave you captivated and ready for what is to come.
On the second track “9 – 5 in Lagos” 8tch takes on Drake’s famous “
Lemon Pepper Freestyle”. The track begins with the rustic voice of Lagos conductors announcing the destination of their buses to interested passengers. The conductors and their yellow buses, a perfect symbolism of the busy and precarious nature of life in Lagos where everyone appears to be locked in a race against time.
In “9 – 5 in Lagos,” 8tch switches to Yoruba as he narrates the crazy life of the Lagos working class. How the day begins before the sun rises and ends late at night. How 9 AM – 5 PM is in reality, 5 AM – 9 PM. 8tch lays bare the frustration of a Lagos hustler whose employer is always finding unimaginative ways to avoid paying full wage. The track reminds you of how in Lagos, you must have both eyes open at all times because everyone who isn’t you is trying to play a fast one on you.
This track is a combination of nice flows and catchy metaphors that extravagantly displays 8tch’s intelligence, range, and ability. In the end, 8tch echoes the sentiments of many – In a city that takes more than it gives, you can never save your way out of poverty.
8tch takes a breather on Track 3 titled "What Are You Thankful For?" and lets a lady with a voice like honey remind us of the need to be grateful for what we have instead of obsessing about what we don’t have. We are reminded that life is a marathon and not a sprint. So, we can take our time and run at our pace.
The fourth track “Heavenly” featuring Gaz, 8tch covers Sam Smith’s “
Pray” which is what he did on this track. After the soul searching on the first track and the reality check on the second, 8tch decided it was time to turn to a higher power for strength. In “Heavenly,” 8tch expresses his concern of being left behind in a fast-moving world. He turns to God to discuss his failing strength amidst challenges and his dwindling faith in the face of adversity. In the middle of a dark cloud, 8tch prays for a silver lining.
He could use a breath of fresh air, and he need God to shine his light on him. He has worked hard and he’s ready for heaven to pour its blessings on him. 8tch’s delivery is soul-piercing, edifying, and simply beautiful. Nothing beats emotion and 8tch didn’t hold back. Gaz delivered a beautiful chorus that complements 8tch’s raw emotion and together they made a beautiful song that even Sam Smith will be proud of.
On the final track “Money’s Grip” after looking up to heaven and finding the comfort only a superior power can give, 8tch decided to spare a word for the young folks. In a calm classy style of a veteran west coast rapper, 8tch speaks on the deadly grip money has on the younger generation. On this track, 8tch has a word of advice for young people living life in the fast lane. He calls on them to take a break from the rat race in the pursuit of life’s luxuries. In a society where young men are turning to illegal means to make money, 8tch thought his generation could use some admonitions and his message to them is that they shouldn't lose their soul/life in search of money.
Ceiling Conversations is rich in content and high on purpose. The delivery is exquisite and the message is distinct. 8tch’s ability was on show all through the EP and it will leave you appreciating his remarkable talent. The question many might have is: Can 8tch do it on an original beat? The answer to this question is simple – absolutely.
Click here to listen to Ceiling Conversation