Checkpoint goes hard in the way that modern hip-hop needs to in order to be heard. Wayde is an artist who pushes for that weight with lyrical rhythm and skill, rather than with the overloading of creative musical moments or volume. The heart of hip-hop is in the expression, the flow, the confidence and the character, and this is exactly what you see showcased on this release.
The track offers the simple darkness and ambiance of classic hip-hop. The energy is fairly mellow in terms of the leading riff and the haunting vibe created by it, then you get the trap inspired beat bringing the mood up a little towards the more intense. The contrast between these two elements makes for a spacious yet easy to involve yourself in arena of sound, and this is where the expression gets to really stand tall.
The track has attitude, a smooth and confident sort of style that hits with a seemingly effortless power. Wayde’s flow throughout is varied and underlines a number of different abilities, including that of a more melodic delivery rather than purely rap. The energy and passion are consistent, as is the wordplay – always keeping things fresh and interesting. There’s a good balance between story telling and personality, the two fuse well among the musical backdrop and make for what is a striking and easy to get into piece of modern hip-hop.
Checkpoint is really well produced, a testament to HARVEY. The vocal performance shines brightly among everything else, not over-shadowing the vibe of the music, but not being placed too distantly within the mix either. Balance is crucial in audio, and in this case the track sounds exactly as you’d hope. The collaboration makes a lot of sense and the results speak volumes for that.