Mo_B1 is the type of Rapper who channels pop-cultures past and present to adorn his musical escapades with a sense of nostalgia and reliability.
reliabilityOn his latest Extended Play titled 'Keep The Change,' our North Bay bar-riffler makes reference to Ice Cube, "Starwars," and even the HBO show "Game of Thrones," over his creatively relentless lyrical narratives.
His aesthetic changes from track to track, but what remains cohesive throughout this playback is the Emcee's ability to channel his deep-reaching R&B roots over the melodies topline hooks he bestows upon choruses featured on songs like, "Make Believe," and "Tatoo." These two songs stand out from the rest, but not in how they formulate a completed narrative over the record's playback.
On "Make Believe," the drums blast out of our speaker-cabinets using every use of wattage allotted to them. Here, Mo_B1 makes reference to his musical influencers from the golden area of Hip-hop when he buzzes over Ice Cube's lines, "You betta check yo self before you wreck yo self." The topline effects in the way a club-hooking mantra would, and as each verse churns more scintillating then the last, it's as if each variation of the North Boy Rapper that walks into the vocal booth for the verse is bolder than the previous. It's long arms stretch away from the vibes exerted over predecessor songs like "Connect the Dots," that found our protagonist taking full ownership of his 90's era aesthetic.
On this track, a sense of head-bobbing is conducive to the smooth operating Emcee flow Mo_b1 manifests. Here, salacious bars flow with some of the hooking infatuating qualities of the late grate Tu-Pac, which he references in this song, unironically. A hard mid-punch explodes from the lo-fi styling drumset, which gives this song a nostalgia inductive sense of gap. It's the highlight of this Extended Play as the captivating pad samples, and his intoxicating vocal hooks synergize over the downbeat for an added dynamic.
What stands out most about the next track is how it doesn't seem to fit into any cohesive space left for it on "Keep The Change." "Tatoo" is an outlier that would do well alone in its own right as an addictive Alternative-Hip-hop track, but amongst these other tracks, it creates confusion over the place it truly belongs in relation to what we've already heard. It's a symptom of why this record sometimes feels more like a compilation of singles than one cohesive narrative of style and aesthetic.
Throughout the EP's playback, Mo_B1 borrows freely and with a connoisseur's taste from the most infatuating characteristics of R&B and Contemporary Hip-hop on songs like "King of the North," and "Rockin' J's," but his most enticing verbal jabs come from the support of The Finesser Professor on "Red Wine." Here, a minimalistic beat encourages us to focus on our Emcee's saturated intonations.
As Mo_B1 sings over the choruses with a buzzing warble in his breath and a focus on his harmony, the verses lay open for his featured Artists to rule over. The Finesser Professor, an all-encompassing Emcee who riffles playful verbiage, draws reminiscence to some of Contemporary Hip-hop's best on his stave, while the next stanza is ruled over with the vehement drive of Alex in the Middle's measure—which produces a monochromatic vibe mirroring Donald Glover on "Because The Internet."
As "Keep The Change," comes down to its final send-offs, we're bewildered over the effectiveness this Emcee displays over articulating his hooks and constructing songs that stay in memory for weeks to come; but his musical endeavor doesn't come without turbulence. "Pop Smoke," operates over an ominous sample that oozes over its own saturated harmonics. It performs as the highlighting captivator, but probably unintentionally, as we find Mo_B1's topline combatting for study over his production's overwhelming nature. Still, none the less, his presence adorns this track with a zealous discharge of captivating buffets of melody and hook that administers clever pop-culture references throughout the extent of its playback.
On "Rockin' J," a lo-fi backtrack allots our Rapper room to occupy front and center, untarnished or stained compared to its predecessor song. Here, his flows converge over a short backing track that samples a piano, some crispy hi-hats, and bells that blend into the nostalgia-inducing aesthetic channeled from Mo_B1's '90s favoring creative intuitions.
When we think back, "Keep The Change," stands as a testament to the talents and overpowering affluence that this Canadian Rapper has for crafting addictive hooks, incorporating clever references to Pop-culture, and enhancing his mixes with nostalgia-evocative textures. His aim for cohesion might not have been his most festooning quality, but his abundance of groove, knee-buckling bars, and intoxicating toplines are undeniable.
Hello Mo_B1 and a warm welcome back to BuzzMusic. What was your process behind curating the dynamic flow and cohesion that follows when one song moves to the next on this record?
When Considering cohesiveness I always try and make sure the project has a certain vibe. Keep The Change has a unique sound in the sense that it encompasses catchy hooks with hard-hitting bars. I wanted to grab the audience with King Of The North and then follow it with the two lead singles Connect The Dots and Make Believe. Rockin J's was a perfect last song to leave the audience wanting more and the others fit in from there.
Can you explain some of the main sentiments and emotions you were trying to evoke in your audience through the multitude of diverse-hitting tracks found on "Keep The Change?"
I wanted to make the audience think about the bars I spit. Thought provokes creativity and inspiration which is my goal when releasing music, I want to inspire. Keep The Change is a message in itself. Change is necessary, as a young black male, I believe we must keep changing as a culture and people. Humanity is constantly changing and we need to change together for the better. Change is good, for all of us. We must be open to change and willing to seek out ways of destroying racism, discrimination, and injustice forever.
When it comes to your clever references to topical subjects and Pop-culture, what fuels that stylists approach, and when did this become something you confide in during your writing sessions?
During my writing process, I am.always looking for ways to engage the audience and pop culture references tend to do just that. I have become accustomed to writing for mass appeal, which requires attention to pop culture and what's happening in the world at that time.
If you could pick two songs from "Keep The Change" that represents you best as an Artist, which would you choose and why?
My two lead singles Connect The Dots and Make Believe I think best represents me as an artist right now. There is a certain maturity in my flow in Connect The Dots that I am excited to share with people. Make Believe has a funky hook, that is catchy and unique and highlights my singing abilities which I like, personally. Make Believe demonstrates my attempt to think outside the box when creating, another attempt and blending the 90's early 2000's with the now.
What are some ever-evolving and long-lasting developments in your sound and style that you can predict we might find on your next upcoming releases?
My next release is an LP called Wedding Season. 8 tracks dedicated to love and relationships. Expect summer tunes that are uplifting. It really is feel-good music. There are a few unique hooks, my singing is on full display and there are alot of heart heavy bars. The intricacies of love are contemplated in a fun fashion. Wedding Season is Now available on all platforms under Mo_B1. Check It Out and Sing-Along!