CJ Replay is a rapper writing from genuine personal experiences. You can hear it in the lyrics, in his delivery of them – the passion and struggle in his voice – all of his content is very real and affects him on a deep level. To express in this way is precisely the point of art, to reach out and connect, something which the song Too Late quite literally does throughout the narrative and with the ongoing, unanswered sound of a phone ringing. CJ addresses something intimate in an incredibly open way, holding nothing back – be that in the words, the subject matter, or his apparent emotion when dealing with the issues within – you can hear the realness, which is always worth appreciating.
Genre-wise CJ has performed on top of a fairly colourful yet melancholy beat from Haaru. The music and the hook lay out a strong foundation for the rap flow and story-line – a lot takes place in the verses, so these musical breaks give you time to absorb it all, to reflect or to breathe. With only two tracks available to date it will be interesting to see where Replay’s artistry will go in the future – how his sound will develop as the stories take different forms or as more metaphor comes into play. His voice has something quickly familiar about it that will work in his favour over time.
Alter Ego is a pretty different kind of track. Replay showcases a faster rap flow, a certain confidence instead of the previously present vulnerability. The beat by Syndrome takes things down a slightly more minimalist, raw hip-hop route. The quick delivery and the slightly softer tone means that there’s a lot more to take on here; a lot of lyrics come through in a short space of time. The song is intense, certain lines and ideas stand out among the manic energy of the outpouring. CJ Replay’s honest approach to expression and his unique sounding voice will hopefully see his creativity reach far and wide over the coming years. The beats chosen in both cases allow him to fully connect to the movement of the music in a fitting way.