During previous eras of political volatility, music played an integral purpose- organizing, amplifying, acting as a conduit for action. Today, however, music seems only to exist as a mode of escape- a safe space, so to speak, from a sociopolitical situation that pings us constantly from our ubiquitous devices. Naeem- in his previous work with Spank Rock- blended sexualized braggadocio with subtle stabs at the incongruities of contemporary life, but with “Sway(e)d” the artist refuses all escapism outright.
Naeem’s performance is an urgent one, and “Sway(e)d” takes things head on – a creative class with no safety net, self-reflective quips of the complacency of artists themselves in objectifying and damaging structures, digital burnout, and the violence bubbling under the surface of new tribal conflicts. The club-ready production of “ Sway(e)d” ticks like a bomb (with explosions of Wiley’s “Morgue”) and an array of sample esoterica menacingly synthesizing grime, ballroom, and noise. Naeem himself deftly synthesizes the paranoid confusion, desperation, and aggression felt globally among disaffected artists with masterful spitting of staccato patterns.
Can you dance to a call for revolution? It’s happened before, and “Sway(e)d” demands it.
01: Naeem – Sway(e)d 02: Naeem – Sway(e)d (TV) 03: Naeem – Sway(e)d (Instrumental)
August 10, 2018