Rapper’s going back to the future 360
VINTAGE MODERN (EMI)
THERE is a formula for Australian artists to get on local radio. The secret is simple — imitate what’s on radio now. If you’re a rapper that’s modern beats and guest singers.
Melbourne rapper 360’s fourth album opts for creative risks over formula — the same way he broke out with 2011’s hit Flying and Falling.
Vintage Modern Mk1 was all trap beats and trop house. Bored, he started from scratch, recreating all the songs with real instruments. And rather than guests singing all of the hooks, he sings them himself.
It adds a new level of personal emotion — especially the chorus of Drugs where he sings “no one loves me like the drugs used to” after a few verses rapping about his internal chemical warfare. Or singing (and rapping) about his demons on the cathartic Witness (“haters read the headlines, fans read the entire page”).
There’s still on-point beats in there (courtesy of hit man Styalz Fuego) but mixed in with live music full of hooks — see jaunty White Lies or the haunting and haunted Way Out (featuring Teischa)
Money is another postsuccess post-mortem, Letters an overdue awakening about not calling women bitches in verse.
Yesterday’s campfire feel of acoustic guitar and whistles puts a positive spin on negativity, the strings on
Admission almost hit the unexpected vocal heights of the rapper-turned-singer.
Tiny Angel is already a viral hit, a true story about a stillborn child in the same dramatic vein as Eminem’s Stan.
Trouble sees ’60 aim to cull racists from his fanbase, questioning the fear around Muslims — the controversial line “the trouble with God is man” tellingly comes wrapped in the album’s catchiest chorus.
VERDICT Changing a gear to lengthen a career