HeRo (aka Backpack Jedi) - 2: You - Stereo Stickman

HeRo (aka Backpack Jedi) 2: You


This project from HeRo, otherwise known as Backpack Jedi, is one that’s dedicated to its audience – to you, the listener. These eight tracks, each unique and musically impressive in their own right, combine to create around you the perfect playlist of uplifting, energizing optimism. HeRO’s voice and his ideas work beautifully alongside of the array of music you’ll find on the EP. The points outlined by the intro (Wake Up) welcome you into the experience, then you get the immediate warmth and hopefulness of the title track, and things continue to shine brightly from here on in.

Three tracks in and So Insincere sees HeRo’s flow take the reins, a simple, jazz-kissed ambiance leaves plenty of space within which this relentless, high energy, passionate outpouring can really stand tall. Don’t Look Down follows and a hint of Kendrick emerges – the vocal tone, the delivery style, the short but certain ties between rap and melody. The concept and the music work gorgeously here to build something atmospheric and easy to escape within – expect your body to calm down and your mind to wander a little. Still his lyricism takes its additional moments to impress – the flow reaches new heights, but its done in a stylish, smooth way.

Young Street Dreams takes the jazz influence a little further, a blissfully vintage soundscape accompanies a thicker vocal delivery and a deliberate lyrical rhythm that adds impact to the ambiance. This one has a hypnotic quality, the creative, unexpected meeting between the past and the present works well to lift you out of your current reality – a relevant effect considering the title.

Who’s That afterwards brings a layer of totally retro, almost eighties-like musicianship. Lyrically, and rhythmically, this is undoubtedly one of the most addictive and striking songs from the whole project. You immediately connect with the words, remembering as many as possible in the first instance, skipping back to the start to re-capture those that slipped by. There’s a good balance between story-telling and personal reflection, letting the piece reach out in a heartfelt way, but also letting it captivate as the entertainment its intended to be. The word-play and the rhyme scheme are mighty.

Towards the end of the EP, Nobody Knows fuses musical brightness with lyrical depth and a certain reflective darkness – it gets you pondering life in a powerful way, but also not being too bogged down by the potential difficulty of that. This method works well, it’s honest and ultimately real, without apology. The ambiance is beautiful and the hook is incredibly soulful, adding a level of togetherness to the journey. You feel a little closer to the artist now, he bares his demons and his truth in an accessible way, and that voice and that flow work wonders as the music surrounds you. A definite personal highlight.

Live Forever ends the experience with delicacy, a spacious piece of music, creative and colourful in its own way – this project is eclectic, but you know who’s work it is at every step. The HeRo sound has that classic depth and intelligence that’s been missing from much of the world’s recent hip hop releases. This final track offers a further serious tone and an increasing passion that again holds tight to your attention. HeRo’s ability to explore ideas and storylines in a clever, artistic, and rhythmic way, is always immensely impressive. At the same time, he pours heart and soul into his performances, and this adds even more value. As if the nostalgic artwork for the album isn’t enough to get you pressing play, a promise of the worth within hopefully will.

Download the EP via iTunes. Find & follow HeRo on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter & Instagram. Visit his Website for more info.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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