Fresh from his recent mixtape 25/8, Pablo Knox’ single Capped Up brings together a classically dark and haunting hip hop beat with a string of lyrics that offer a similarly reflective and serious mood. The whole thing hits hard, presenting personality but also a definite sense of depth that captivates right through to the end.
The roots of the genre stand tall, that voice has character and these bars impress more and more so as the track progresses, but that backbone of authenticity in the beat and the weight of the soundscape helps cement the track as more than worthy of its role within hip hop.
The second time you spin this that key riff pours through with immediately familiarity. The calling cards of an effective anthem, certain layers and details that capture your interest from afar. On top of this, the vocals add identity – the lyrics feel fresh and genuine, intense but real in what they present. The passion and grit in the voices adds further weight to the concept, and the back and forth between the two styles works well to keep things moving and interesting until the end.
Capped Up offers a mellow yet dark hit that’s easily memorable and loaded with quirks and traits that give it character and intention. While nostalgia is a big part of the appeal – that natural connection to the dawn of the genre – there’s way more about the track and the performances within that feels fresh. The bars seem relentless sometimes, barely pausing to breathe – impressing and engaging the listener all the way. A worthy nod to hip hop’s historical core and a defiant rap anthem for 2019.