Alternative hip-hop artist Jacob Didas’ latest EP, entitled Rise, demonstrates his gift for stylistic shifts and his talent for songwriting.
Talking about his music, Jacob shares, “We are all, in our own way, struggling to make sense of our place in the world. My love for music was, truly, about as intense as the depression which plagued me for years. Music for me has been a tool for expressing this intense journey and important lessons that have guided me out of that place and find balance. Much of my lyricism revolves around existentialism, healing, and personal evolution and is heavily influenced by Eastern philosophies such as Buddhism and Taoism. Other songs are purely sarcastic and offer minimum value.”
Jacob grew up in Buffalo, New York, where at the age of 10 he began classical piano lessons, which continued throughout his teens. Eventually, he became interested in improvisational piano and music production. While working as a psychiatric nurse in the military, he produced music.
His music frequently shifts between genres, the foremost being hip hop. He produces and records independently, creating a sound that’s psychedelic and ever-evolving. His vocals, which are sometimes very rapid, focus on themes of hope and self-discovery. Jacob’s songs seek to spread a message of interconnection and provide a means of healing and understanding. He hopes to eventually open a private care facility in Buffalo, NY that utilizes psychedelic therapy, in combination with music therapy, to treat anxiety and depression.
Comprising eight tracks, two of which are bonus tracks, “Nicest Guy” and “Loud,” the EP starts off with “Stars,” featuring Victoria Campbell. Opening on a graceful piano, followed by the entry of a hip-hop-lite rhythm, the tune swings from R&B flavors to a rapping flow.
Entry points include “Love” with Victoria Campbell. “Love” travels on stabbing strings riding a hip-hop beat as Jacob’s flow imbues the rhymes with quixotic timbres. When Victoria’s voice blends with Jacob’s, the result shimmers with creamy textures.
One of the best tracks is “Rise & Fall,” rolling out on dark, surging tones atop a syncopated beat. Hints of alt-rock run through the harmonics, while Jacob’s rapping voice gives the lyrics slightly ominous savors.
“The Nicest Guy” offers industrial hip-hop elements mixed with futuristic energy, a rumbling bassline, and a rapid-fire rapping flow mixed with slower segments.
With Rise, Jacob Didas takes hip-hop into entirely new sonic realms, adding an array of stylistic touches that make his music sui generis.