At this moment it feels like Flohio is one of rap’s most vital voices, the MC’s unparalleled vision and sound acting as a crucial reminder of the need to confront the less glamorous side of life and find the necessary tools navigate through it. Music is Flohio’s tool, her brutalist sound and punchy vocals ensuring that every release the MC makes is a statement, a punk-like attitude that encourages everyone listening to take a serious look at themselves and the world around them.
Her latest offering comes in the form of a mixtape ‘No Panic No Pain’, a tireless body of work that uncovers the rapper’s experiences so far – death, recovery and heartbreak – absorbing these experiences and overhauling her creativity in the process. The opener ‘FLOFLO!’ opens with a confessional voice note: “I was upset and needed you to just be there from me, and I felt like you dismissed me…” What follows in the face of dismissal is the musical equivalent of a war cry, Flohio shaking off the sense of rejection screaming: “I need energy right now!”
This rejuvenated sense of self shines through on the following track ‘Unveiled’, the artist embracing the reality of her newly found success; “More hype, more rage. I can’t complain!” The lead single’s flawless flow and menacing instrumentals send listeners into a frantic dervish of musical relief. The track single-handedly sees Flohio justify the hype around her, the MC’s ability to channel such an empowering message of self-acceptance and deliver it to a musical backdrop of dark menacing beats feels revolutionary.
The mixtape delivers a plethora of contrasting emotions and feelings, all of which are brought to the forefront. One leading emotion is rage – it comes up a lot in the mixtape, whether it be the aforementioned tracks, as well as other tracks like ‘Flash’ and ‘Active’. It isn’t presented in this mixtape as a synonym for anger, instead more as a necessary energy that can be channelled through her music in a level-headed and clear-cut manner.
Littered with jaunty moments of darkness, this mixtape is a haunting, but equally necessary reminder of the lived experiences that have shaped her into the artist and person she is today. Any negativity or sense of defeatism is overridden with a beautifully manic sense of energy, a lust for life from the rapper, an artist whose music couldn’t be more important at such a difficult time. Rap has been screaming for an artist like this for years – soon, the silence surrounding Flohio’s name will be converted into the deafening roar of acclaim.
Words: Josh Crowe
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