A Single Track Review

Happy Saturday folks, we’ve got another Bar Exam today centered around a single track. Today’s song is “Gap” by RoyRex.

I always feel like a disclaimer belongs here, that when reviewing single tracks I’m only making observations based upon a small portion of a greater work. Also, reviews like this are always meant to challenge and encourage. I’m grateful to have a platform I can use to help artists with their craft.

Musical Vibes

The song begins with a slow fade and an incredible beat ensues. There are terrific layers to the music, and the production level is above the bar. Roy’s presence on the mic may be a little reserved for me, but he owns it. There’s a bit of a mumble vibe to the flow and that’s cool. There’s a lot to like about this song. The hook is catchy which makes it an ear worm type of track that you’ll walk around repeating for days.

I just want to be the man/
I just want to be the man/
I just want to be the man/
I just wanna fill the gap/
I just wanna fill the gap/ yuh, now or never

There are a couple of things that stick out to me in this track. Most of my observations are around the Tupac snippet at the end. Tupac was a wordsmith and was the type of artist that when he talked people listened. Including this snippet is an issue of creative direction for me. I’ll explain.

Direction Is Key

When the decision is made to feature something on a track other than the artist, there should be great intention behind it. It’s exciting to be able to add another artist for a feature or a hook, or in the case of this track, a snippet from the culture. The goal of these additions would be to enhance the song, and neither distract or detract from what the artist is doing with the rest of it.

This Tupac snippet to close out the song not only enhances it, or distracts the listener, but steals the show. Tupac Shakur had the strongest message and he didn’t even rap. RoyRex just spent 2 minutes talking about how he “wants to be the man and fill the gap,” but there’s no challenge to fill the gap, nor is there evidence of how Roy is indeed filling said “Gap.” This is the classic case of “show, don’t tell.” If the entire track would have been written about wage gaps or social injustice only to hand it over to ‘Pac to put the cherry on top and send everyone out to put in work, my conclusion would have been far different.

Conclusion

Sonically, considering the flow and production, this is an appealing song. It’s also a great song to use to introduce listeners to RoyRex‘s style.  However, I felt like the strongest part was not RoyRex himself, so I have to give this song a Below The Bar rating.

 

Rating: Below The Bar

 

-Luc

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About The Author

Luc has been a worship pastor at LifeBridge Church in Longmont, CO for the past 12 years. Luc is passionate about reaching people through all kinds of music. In his free time he’s either watching baseball, on a date with his wife, or wrestling with his kids.

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