"As I slowly go insane, my followers gain, isn't that strange?"
It's a myth that a person must be tortured to create good art, but Rave Holly's best work is a chronicle of declining mental health. In song, he's scribbled lyrics about depression and light drug abuse to distract himself from it in illuminating detail. Listening to his verses are, on an emotional level, like watching a car crash in slow motion; debris flying through the air, people stopping in their tracks to see what happened. On "Theoretical," from last year's Cliche Noir, the man formerly known as Raven Hollywood (and RVN, and Raven Matthews) half-sings over a lurching Wolftone beat about his patience being frayed and the swamp inside of his mind.
"Theoretical" serves as an unofficial showcase for Bujemane, who drops two trademark, imagery laden, stream-of-consciousness verses. He moonwalks over the beat citing 1994 sedans, chain snatching, rolling up organic lettuce into a blunt wrap, golden medallions with the face of Jesus, and Polo Sport jackets. In the Hype Itemson-directed video for the track, the background of grey skies are augmented by colorful, storage containers, vehicles in various states of decay and disrepair, discarded axels, snazzy sweaters, and cars and buses passing by. Rave and Buje pass the time by taking selfies next to the wrecked cars, playing with the assorted junk laying around, and making up dances. Because what else is there to do when you're hanging out on the wrong side of the gate to an industrial storage facility?
Rave Holly had the following to say about "Theoretical," the song and video. Watch the video for it below his words.
“Theoretical” is a moody ballad about coping mechanisms, mental illness, social anxiety and maybe even a little bit of what the newbies call “The Seattle Freeze” as well as some time-tested boasting, a depressed pat on one’s own back, for being alive and thriving in the grey skies. Wolftone’s beat paints the perfect gruff backdrop for our word wizardry.
The video, shot primarily in the industrial under-passages of the Georgetown neighborhood, is a gloomy portrait of Buje and I being silly and serious, a somewhat newly found artistic chemistry unfolding on screen. Reed did a great job suggesting visual framings and leading our physical banter throughout the process. It was a rusty romp for sure.
On the heels of IRL, the Seattle artist’s latest release delivers another set of deeply ruminative, off-center singer-songwriter-influenced hip-hop.
Seattle songwriter Raven Matthews goes by many names, from his birth name to RVN and now Raven Hollywood. With each new moniker, you can feel his progression as an artist. On his latest EP, IRL, the Raven Hollywood name aptly embodies the grand and murky folk noir visions. Following up last year'...