FlySiifu have completely abandoned the stereotypical idea of what we picture people conversing about while sharing a joint – filled to the brim with laughter, silly-philosophical revelations about the world being shared. People are either passed out sleeping, or posted up on the couch and locked into its crevices.
FlySiifu were most definitely locked in with a strong intention and sonic direction when they created “$mokebreak.” This EP is void of the more playful, or braggadocious bars. I mean don’t get me wrong, FlySiifu always comes with a certain air of confidence with their raps – but it’s instead clearly coming from a place of personal experience.
“$mokebreak” consists of bars that are budding with nostalgia, but because their is this metaphor of being in somewhat of a haze – the caricatures and snapshots that FlySiifu provide us of their childhood seem to be ones they wish to mask with smoke, to forget.
FlySiifu spits bars that speak of memories of poverty, grief, and the concept of god – all of these things combined creates an intense desire to dissociate, to get higher in order to connect to something greater that spans past the horizons of trauma.
The first official song off the EP, after the quick introduction track, is “Oatmeal,” with a feature from MC, Chuck Strangers. This song directly addresses the ways that experiencing certain traumas like poverty can alter your view of god, humanity, and your perception of the world.
Throughout the track “Oatmeal”, two very divergent perspectives of God start to emerge. In the chorus, FlySiifu mumbles quietly, “It is what it is, let the God do the work.” This image of FlySiffu having a conversation with God starts to form from this track.
FlySiifu seems to have had quite a few of these moonlight talks with God. They come out of these dialogues with the hope of acceptance – “Let go and Let God” starts to act as their mantra.
Yet, in the next verse, Strangers raps, “Talked to God and I forgave him for the way he had us living. Hunger change your disposition, when there’s only oatmeal in the kitchen.”
The various traumas that followed them throughout their childhood and into their adulthood as black men lead them to these conversations. A greater confrontation of not only suffering, but the violence that exists within humanity is transparent – yet the targets remain. The act of surrendering transforms from being seen as “weak,” to now being regarded as a reclamation of power – enlightenment.
“3 Dope Boys,” featuring 3wayslim, is another standout track off the EP. The process one has to undergo in order to be able to surrender and accept the things we cannot control is suffocating in itself.
Surrendering requires both an acknowledgment and validation of your truth, while also being able to release and accept the things that are happening in the present moment. Some bars that really hit me throughout this track are:
“Gotta get high, fuck the real me”
“Trapped in a guillotine, poverty stricken, we paralyzed, n***** can’t feel a thing.“
Once again, the desire and need for escapism and freedom are coming through. The entrapment of poverty and racism leaves them to crave numbness in order to get by.
The instrumentals and beats that were chosen for $mokebreak are incredibly influenced by soul music. The beats are built around jazz samples, accompanied by neo-soul vocals drifting in the background. This once again reinforces the energy this EP is engulfed in – hints of nostalgia and mysticism creates a sonic sensation of smoke and mirrors.