Yayi - Spirits (EP) - Stereo Stickman

Yayi Spirits (EP)

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Refreshingly creative production helps quickly elevate this EP before the rap aspect even steps up to the stage. Throw in a beautifully mellow, classic and freely meandering hip hop vocal, and the result is a fine fusion between jazz-cafe vibes and thoughtful, poetic reflection.

Movica makes for the perfect introduction, musically pristine, creatively new, and introducing Yayi’s tone and delivery in a notably impressive yet calm and confident fashion.

Don’t Be So Quiet takes a less rhythmically hypnotic pathway, injecting something of a stream-of-consciousness style rap flow, meandering in various ways, laying bare deep thoughts and intimate truths in a revealing, vulnerable manner.

Suddenly we get an injection of brightness and melody as I’m So Fly slips into view. A heavier beat, slightly industrial, and once again that now familiar Yayi vocal style pours through with unwavering freedom and quiet confidence.

The somewhat vintage presentation of these tracks, and indeed of Yayi’s rap style, offers a welcomed hit of nostalgia that takes you back to a simpler time. These feel like fragments from a movie in some ways.

Real Motherfucking G follows on and is anything but as intense as the title implies. The only change is the rising energy and passion, perhaps angst, of that vocal delivery. Smoothness turns to anger, and this does intensify the experience somewhat, but underneath it the beat works hard to maintain a level of calm and peace. The song is decidedly revealing, it holds nothing back and presents a real chance to emotionally connect with the artist behind the music. As the record skips during the latter half, the unexpected chaos of it really recaptures any wandering attention.

This change in direction is held onto a little longer as a somewhat disjointed and haunting G Tears throws in another freestyle with various theatrical or versatile vocal moments.

Twice calms the mood again, and by now you’re familiar with the stylistics of the project and this artist. The music is almost a soundtrack to these stories. Yayi is the performer, and the producer builds the ambiance to accompany this.

A creative highlight towards the end is the anticipation-led, bass-driven and gamer-like, skipped-record style unpredictability of LOve lOVe loVE. Unlike anything else you’ll have heard lately, this track showcases an artist having fun with sound-play and performance, and it does this with a simple focus on a specific, again revealing set of ideas. This feels like a private recording of a room, late at night – music playing and a thoughtful writer rambling away his own reflections on life and the self.

I Am Who I Am follows on with a similar hit of personality and recognisable creativity. A great beat leads the way, fresh and memorable, a strong groove that suits the varied energy of Yayi’s raps well and brings the EP to an end with style.

Spirits is defiantly its own thing – the work of an artist with a carefree, unique and uninhibited approach to making music and writing bars. Easy to let play.

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Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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