Shid Latta is a hardcore rap artist hailing from Baltimore, riding high at the moment having recently released his acclaimed album Love + Other Drugs, as well as simultaneously releasing his own clothing line. Having already released one single off the album, Bet That, this second single How It Is was produced by Evolution MS and finds Shid at his most lyrically and musically hardcore.
It begins with a swirling synth riff before launching into a brutal hip-hop beat with intricately programmed hi hats that add nicely to the groove. The beat is made up of all manner of percussive noises, making this track closer to glitch-hop rather than standard hip-hop. Shid throws us straight into the action with the opening lines “Court dates and court case, on a high speed chase, raise stakes to raise cake, just tryin’ to be great…”.
The synth riff between the verses is memorable, and verse two begins “Psychedelic sentiment destroying all my citizens…” which is an intriguing lyric, presumably about the effect of drugs on culture and society. Some of the later lyrics regarding Shid’s fondness for the ladies might be too hardcore for some, but that’s why it’s called hardcore rap, and Shid is a fine exponent of the genre.
Overall, this is another strong single and another good example of Shid’s lyrical skills and delivery, with a musical backing that is both sonically arresting and cutting edge. My only suggestion would be a radio edit to bleep out the cuss words, as the current version would find restricted radio airplay outside of stations that play hardcore rap. For those not easily offended, give Shid a listen.
Verdict: 8 out of 10
(published on The Faulkner Review 14th September 2014;