Rkham - Welcome To Forever - Stereo Stickman

Rkham Welcome To Forever


Initially adopting a classic radio show format, with high energy and carefree cut-scenes, Welcome to Forever progresses to be one of the most unexpectedly creative and interesting projects to emerge in recent months.

Rkham drives with equal parts emotion and artistry on this mixtape. Once the intro is out of the way, things soon get mellow, reflective and calm. Rest Of Our Lives jumps straight into the personal story-telling, the intimacy and the love. A dreamlike soundscape supports this lyrical softness and connection beautifully.

Where most hip hop albums might start off with something fast-paced or heavy, Welcome To Forever makes its own rules, and the result is something decidedly refreshing.

As the project goes on, melody continues to play a strong role, as do these ad-lib, free-style outbursts. The songs are partly professional and intentional, partly an uninhibited expression of truth, and that balance works well. Great production, where familiar traits throughout help create a strong thread – as does Rkham’s vocal tone and his ability to switch up his flow more than a few times. All I Know is a fine example, and a personal favourite from the collection.

Gentle keys and synths return for more of that calmness as BiPoLar tells yet another deeply personal story. Laying bare vulnerabilities and uncertainties, the song has a brilliant structure, connecting for its truth and impressing for its mildly theatrical, impactful set-up. This call and response style, the switch from a mellow flow to a quicker one, it all captivates really well. Another defiant highlight, incredibly creative and again paving its own way as a contemporary track.

Eclectic sound design stands tall again as WorldWide pours into the room with a choir of children’s voices and an instantly uplifting keys progression. Here we seem to move temporarily into the heartfelt, hopeful, soulful section of the record. Though of course, it’s never as you’d first expect – a classic Rkham quality.

The track soon becomes a dark and hypnotic classic, holding attention for its attitude, confidence and minimalism alike. A brilliant piece of music and performance, nothing like you’ll expect it to be, yet satisfying and musically superb in its own original way. I’m reminded briefly of the severe juxtaposition used in This Is America. Stylistically there are few similarities, but the impact and unpredictability exists in a realm not too far away.

A brief moment of mellow appreciation washes over for a penultimate Cotton Candy. A simple track, nothing too striking but well-crafted in terms of what’s been hitting it big lately. Then Till’ You Made A Way brings things to a finish in a manner not unlike that in which they began. Those keys offer a quirky melody, the beat is light, hopeful, and the track blends addictive melody and flow in a stylish, quietly confident manner. Good vibes, colourful, enjoyable – a summertime hit waiting to happen.

This is a thoroughly unique, creatively meandering and impressive project, from an artist with a clearly eclectic yet skillful way with making music. An easy playlist to appreciate and lose yourself within – and indeed to revisit more than a few times over. Strong bars, more than you can pick up on with a single visit. Great music, inspiring artistic freedom. Well worth a listen.

Download or stream the mixtape here. Find & follow Rkham on Facebook & Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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