Sidney Breedlove’s new single “Take It Low” packs a wallop of commercial potential in a way few hip hop tracks do nowadays. All popular music genres anesthetize their audiences to varying degrees and hip hop is no different. The halcyon early pioneers are seemingly bursting with ideas because it’s unexplored territory the first go-round. Successive artists, however, familiarize things for listeners within a decade or more and time dilutes much of the charge that the first generation of artists packed. Sidney Breedlove, however, isn’t like that.
Breedlove’s magic with hip-hop song structure, his understanding of the subtle dynamic shifts elevating a merely good song into the realm of excellent, and the polished yet unassuming production mark him as a different breed of cat. He’s been at this for a while now, but “Take It Low” shows Breedlove has the canny artistic instincts of someone with much more experience. The confidence of his vocal conveys that.
So does the song’s stylish yet gritty trajectory. It knows where it’s going from the outset and finds a deep groove early that listeners will latch onto. It’s the chorus hook, however, that pulls us to the mountaintop. Breedlove’s way of underplaying the song’s title, yet full of implication, and the accompanying bass and percussive touches make this one of the most physically memorable listening experiences in hip-hop music for some time.
The song’s bass provides it with a consistent and rhythmic heartbeat that, if it were in your chest, would rattle your sternum with each pulse. “Take It Low” is perfect music for high-performance speakers in a car, nightclub, or at home, and the bass help pack muscle that it otherwise wouldn’t possess. It contrasts with Breedlove’s voice in a memorable way as well.
Many listeners will especially value the song’s predictability. It may seem like an odd thing to read, but once you experience the fundamentally satisfying structure behind songs such as this, you understand. Some may find themselves, during the song, wondering if he will end certain passages or sections in the way they expect he will. When he does, it doesn’t produce eye-rolls, however. Instead, listeners smile and feel like he’s checking off the right boxes.
This sort of talent is the bread and butter of any successful genre artist. Our capacity for hearing our favorite styles essentially re-invent and cannibalize themselves is only as great as our affection for the performer engaged in that process. If you are a hip-hop fan but a newcomer to Breedlove’s music, he earns your trust early on, and he does not finesse it from you. It is an authenticity that you hear, not slick professionalism alone.
“Take It Low” will be another pivotal moment for this young performer. Breedlove has come on hard and fast in a small window of time and he is continuing to build upon new opportunities as they arrive. “Take It Low” is his biggest opportunity yet to reach a massive audience and has every chance of achieving its goals.