Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this afternoon’s edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on Mac Jeff, an eclectic hip hop artist with a new single out entitled ‘Hella Popular.’ The explosive new tune features Husalah, The Jacka, and L-Love, too, all of which are fellow Bay Area rappers. It’s available now digitally on all download and streaming platforms via CD Baby distribution. Is it a tune that’s worth your time, though? Let’s dig into it and find out!
‘Hella Popular’ is an intriguing track because while it doesn’t necessarily bring anything new to the table of indie hip hop, it is a rather joyfully ridiculous romp through over-the-top lyricism and classic production. The instrumentation and beats in ‘Hella Popular’ sound like they’re right out of 1992, and I mean that in a most complimentary way. There’s an aura surrounding this single that’s akin to the classic era of hip hop, especially with its lyric-heavy presentation that doesn’t leave much room for any ostentatious over-production.
The four rappers trade off verses gleefully, musing about how they’re the life of the party and leaving with the hottest woman on the dance floor. The lyricism is… vivid, to say the least, highlighting a “foxy” woman that’s leaving the party on the songwriter’s arm, much to the dismay of everyone they’re leaving behind. Is it a bit cheesy? Yeah, it is. It is, however, wonderfully invested in its own intensity. The four rappers sell ‘Hella Popular’ grandly, and it’s the kind of hip hop track one can’t help but spin over and over again.
Mac Jeff takes his verse toward the end of the track, something that’s somewhat nontraditional for the main artist on a song. He’s the strongest performance of the four, though, and that offers a perfect finale to the track. “This bad chick is who I'm-a-leave with; best believe I’m leaving this evening with this young heathen,” he raps in the closing verse of ‘Hella Popular.’
There’s something that’s purely infectious about ‘Hella Popular.’ It leans into the tropes that could act as potential pratfalls, and as a result, the song is one that you’ll find pleasantly exciting if you’re a fan of retro-tinged hip hop. Give the song a spin below and connect with Mac Jeff on Twitter.