Ares Knight and Shawna Roxanne collaborate smoothly for ‘that top down shit’ – N64 delivers on the promise offered up by its title and during the intro. A colourful and fairly classic hip hop vibe meets with an uplifting and melodic soundscape, decidedly and intentionally retro, reminiscent of the nineties, and creating precisely those beach-side vibes and the rhythmic embrace designed to get you feeling good and ready to go.
What impresses about this release is not merely the unique sound right now (there’s very little to compare this to in contemporary hip hop, and production-wise the whole thing has been masterfully crafted) – what really impresses is the lyricism, the smart and handsome leading voice, and the story-line and details introduced by it.
While that retro funk outline creates a nostalgic energy – vintage, seductive RnB – the verses work hard to captivate and add substance to the process. Where this could have been a simple repeat of bars from countless other summer hits, Ares Knight makes sure to throw his own spin on things, to mix it up, showcase awareness, intelligence, and impressive writing skills. At the same time, the work put in results in a brilliantly energizing and even motivational bit of timeless musicality.
For all of these reasons at once, N64 grows to become more likable and memorable with each new appearance. A personal favourite form the genre so far this year.