Emerson’s Rundown: February 5, 2021

“Plenty” – Ato-Mik; “Jaded” – Jade Above; “Song Cry” – $hah

“Plenty” – Ato-Mik
CW: this music may contain explicit language.

We’re starting off this weekly wrap-up with North Vancouver hip-hop duo Ato-Mik. Meet brothers Atom and Mikey Mic.

They finished off 2020 strong with TikTok hits like “I Am” and “Take One”. Now the boys are taking a brief break to drop their first track of the year, “Plenty”.

The song opens up with a few choppy classical piano chords followed by triplet hi-hats. This sets up our first voice on the song, Atom. He wastes no time and gets straight to the point while delivering the chorus. With lines like “Even close by, leave your space” and “had a few ride-or-dies / At the end of the day, there’s only one looking up to the sky”, the message becomes clear. One-half of Ato-Mik is promoting independence, staying alert, and maintaining a tight circle. So how does the other half of Ato-Mik feel?

Mikey echoes his brother’s sentiments in the second verse of this song. Trusting one’s intuition and going with your gut feeling is a common theme through-out his contribution. Not to be looked over, there is also a direct quote from the group’s instagram page:

“In ‘Plenty’ we speak on the facts of people really showing their true colours in 2020 [sic], we know who the real ones are.. Circle got smaller, more tight knit and some ‘best friends’ showed us who they really are. We can’t mess with that bad energy”

Ato-Mik via Instagram

What would you rather have: an abundance of fair-weather friends, or a few reliable, stand-up individuals? No matter what kind of life you live, this is a message that everyone can relate to.

“Jaded” – Jade Above

We enter this song by Algerian-Canadian artist Jade Above feeling exactly how he feels. He puts the listeners right in his shoes with the opening line. If you’re currently in or have ever been in a situation where nothing is going your way and you feel completely helpless, this is your new theme song.

Jade beautifully explains the song’s lyrical content:

“‘Jaded’ is the story of my struggles with toxic masculinity and self-destructive behaviour. I think it is an ode to all individuals who have lived with difficult emotions, hoping to feel better, and actively trying to feel better, while fighting invasive thoughts and society’s pressure to always feel and look good.”

Jade Above via release description

The deeper you dive into the song, the more clear the message behind this track becomes. Mixing catchy melodies with a hard-hitting beat and an even catchier chorus, Jade doesn’t let his message of overcoming societal norms get lost. This is pop music done right.

“Song Cry” – $hah

CW: this music may contain explicit language.

Iranian-Canadian artist $hah throws all of his cards on the table with his latest release, “Song Cry”.

Using music as an outlet for his emotions, $hah is not one for façades. He pleads for help from a higher being throughout the song with his oft-repeated line, “Look in the sky / Pray to Allah”.

The weeping guitar accompanied by emotional piano chords all build up to a perfect anthem for the less optimistic portion of the singer-songwriter’s fanbase.

This is a perfect example of how therapeutic music can be. Artists shouldn’t feel like they have to mask their true emotions under false messages of positivity and happiness. Being honest with yourself is what artistry is all about, and $hah has done that perfectly with this song.

By Emerson Marshall

Emerson Marshall–also known as Emerson Ettore–works in radio and is currently an on-air personality at Vancouver Co-Op Radio. He loves introducing people to new Canadian and local talent.