Particularly in the past few years, rap and punk have formed a cohesive bond – just look at rapper Machine Gun Kelly‘s recent album and even artists like Vic Mensa, who shifts through a wide range of genres seamlessly in one song.
As this shift happened, some strict rock artists have begun expanding into other realms, such as hip-hop and vice versa.
While this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a mixture of these specific two genres in Malaysia, local rapper Airliftz dipping his toe into pop-punk in his latest music video, ‘Not Today’ is definitely worth a listen.
“I wrote ‘Not Today’ based on my own story. Being physically different, music gave me the opportunity to really just let out my emotions during the times when I felt like giving up.
“It gave me the tools to really express how tough it was to be looked down upon; navigating people telling you that you’re not going to make it, feeling worthless, and channelling those frustrations into something positive,” the KL-based artist said.
While the emotionally-charged track promotes individuality and self-worth, it also marks a broadening of Airliftz’s horizons – a strong first showing of his musical sensibilities outside the realms of Hip-Hop & R&B.
Its influence on punk bands of the early 2000s shines through the song’s vocals, chunky bass tone, and rhythm-centred guitar riffs. However, his predominantly Hip-Hop background still remains present in his signature cadence and slick lyricism.
The use of trap drum sounds and hi-hat fills in conjunction with the primarily pop-punk rhythm carves out a unique lane for Airliftz’s exploration as an artist.