“Be in Love” by Kiron Rasheed (feat. Jay Cousins and Wallace Gary)
Any rapper can accent a smooth jam with a couple of hot-button harmonies and make it a crossover, but making something soulful and translatable to even the most casual of listeners takes a level of dedication you don’t find every day in this business. The new single “Be in Love” by Kiron Rasheed is a good example. While this track is very much a hip-hop release, its melodicism punctuates its lyrical presence in a manner that enhances the emotionality of the narrative in ways no instrumental fireworks could have accomplished on their own. Kiron is joined by Jay Cousins and Wallace Gary for this performance, but when all is said and done, I think this is going to be remembered as a song that broke him through more than it did his collaborators.
The rapping Kiron is capable of dispensing is smoldering with unrelenting romance but also unremoved from the harmonies, facilitating the hook with verses much as the beat is carving out a pattern of movement for every intricacy here. There’s not a lot of polish on the bass part, but this in itself feels like a nod to the OGs in hip-hop who were never aesthetically free to flirt with this kind of surreal songcraft – let alone make an entire single based on the hybridity of both R&B’s humility and rap’s sense of swagger. It really does sound like the future in “Be in Love,” no matter what perspective you’re taking its poetic and sonic center in from.
I don’t think “Be in Love” was specifically made to be a slow-dancing delight, but I do think it plays well as an R&B crossover that you could cuddle up to someone with any night of the week. Kiron just doesn’t seem like the type of musician who builds material around a set premise rather than just playing from the heart, and this song is one that especially feels like a bridge from our own perceptions of his profile to the actual contents of his soul. He isn’t hiding from anyone or anything in this performance but instead offering up himself and everything he can present the audience with from inside of a recording studio in exchange for the mere opportunity to finally be heard.
There are no two ways about it – Kiron Rasheed is onto something really special with his sound, and as long as he steers clear of the commercialized trappings a lot of his indie brethren feel necessary to get the attention of critics from me to Stephen Thomas Erlewine, he’s going to rise through the ranks of his scene and the international spotlight a lot quicker than most of his contemporaries can hope to. “Be in Love” doesn’t pose as many questions as it does answers, but something in my gut tells me there’s still more to Kiron’s story just waiting to emerge from the darkness. He’s still got a lot of mystique, but he nonetheless doesn’t let it impede him from giving as personal a performance as he can in this phenomenal new single.