KayCyy, Gesaffelstein – OKAY!
2012 would prove to be an essential year for Lyon producer Gesaffelstein. Aside from his own work, in particular Viol, gaining traction, the French techno-punk producer was tapped to produce for none other than (the artist formerly known as) Kanye West. Yeezus would go on to become a groundbreaking record for hip-hop, shattering the boundaries between underground electronic music and rap, making way for the trap explosion and bass heavy beats that have become today’s standard. And Gessafelstein was an essential part of this conversation. Rising Kenyan rap artist KayCyy is another to come out of the church of West, having most recently worked with Ye on his sprawling yet awkward Donda, having a heavy hand in writing and shaping the direction of the record. Now ready to step out from behind Yeezus and preparing to release his debut solo album, for his first single KayCyy taps Gesaffelstein to again reimagine the landscape of hip-hop.
OKAY! is almost in direct opposition to the electro-punk of Black Skinhead from Yeezus, instead taking shape as skeletal and glacial minimalist trap. In fact, Gesaffelstein pushes the boundaries of trap and hip-hop itself by taking the opposite approach to Yeezus; he deletes the beats. Instead, KayCyy is left to MC over a singular analogue synth aria, and the occasional throb of bass. OKAY!’s chorus is moaned to a passage of spacey drone synths, and a low rumbling modular bass chord begins to bubble but never explodes to the surface. This non-intrusive approach allows for a focus on KayCyy’s voice and flow, making sure not a beat is missed as he raps braggadocio lines like “I stick in her mouth and I give her a face lift.” As the first single from a debut, it works by fully displaying KayCyy sans-frills, and as a further entry into Gesaffelstein’s hip-hop canon it proves that the producer is as future focussed as ever.
Watch the music video for OKAY! below, and download and stream the single here.