2023 has been an awesome year for hip-hop fans and really all who follow the culture the genre has been built around in myriad ways, and in SHAH33D’s new single “Optionsz,” the critically acclaimed producer, songwriter, and rapper shows us his most formidable material yet, as well as an experimental side to his sonic profile that we hadn’t seen before now. “Optionsz,” unlike previous efforts, isn’t as reliant on SHAH33D’s flow in creating an evocative atmosphere that reels us in over the roughly three minutes that the song plays out. The instrumentation is just as powerful, if not more so, in making a bold statement in this track.
Words like stacked instantly come to mind when trying to break down these bass parts, as their enormity is as defined in style as it is important to the narrative in the lyrics. SHAH33D is trying as hard as he can to get us into his mindset, his perspective, in this song, and he uses every weapon at his disposal from behind the soundboard to make it happen. The equalization is scooped and throttles us as a metal track would, and that only contributes further to the eruptive tonality on the instrumental front.
SHAH33D’s vocal delivery is unflinchingly physical, much like the bass parts, but nothing here is over-the-top or bombastic. “Optionsz” is mixed very evenly, and there’s never an instance where one element in the single is competing for our attention with another, which is quite a rarity in the modern hip-hop community to say the least. You can tell that a lot of time and effort went into ironing out all of the explicit details in both the lyrics and the music here, and that’s what sets apart most all of SHAH33D’s releases from those we hear out of his contemporaries in and out of the underground scene.
The energy here is simply out of this world, and if it’s any sort of representation of what I could expect to enjoy in a live setting, then I’m going to make seeing his next gig one of my top priorities. He’s a fierce beast in this chorus; he’s uncaged, unstoppably robust, and ready to rip anything to pieces with nothing more than the microphone that he’s got in his hand.
The heart that SHAH33D demonstrates here is one of the main reasons why I think the indie press has become so fond of his work – it’s always clear that, above all else, music is the most important thing in this guy’s life.
APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/us/album/optionz-single/1667160602
In “Optionsz,” SHAH33D releases his most complete and compelling material ever, and gives us a picture window into an evolved sound that has come an awful long way in the past few years since the release of his debut. If you haven’t already heard him, I would encourage you to give this single a spin, as it provides an opportunity at getting to know both the songwriter as well as the depth of his artistry as it currently stands in a unique and truly engaging way.