A couple of days ago, Joe Flizzow dropped the video for the song “Baek”, the latest single off his album released in 2013, Havoc. You may check the video out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHM8wNV7xAM
My first reaction to the song (because I haven’t heard it up until that point) was “ugh” because of the lyrics. I have a thing against lyrics that sound like they were written secara malas, and this was especially true for Baek. One of the rhymes in the song go “Aku nak pergi kedai nak beli Jordan / Dia nak pergi cuti dekat Amman, Jordan”. Absolute cringe.
Thing about it is, even after all that cringing, I still found myself returning to the song to listen to it again and again. Maybe the hook was just too good. Maybe the song as a whole was just so bad, it was good. Maybe Joe had entered the illuminati and that song had elements of mind-control in them. Or maybe I’m just that confused by how a veteran in the rap-scene could release such a mediocrely-written piece of work.
I went back to Joe’s old pieces. The raps that he wrote for the songs while he was in Too Phat, like Alhamdulillah, If I Die Tonight and even Wanna Battle, and anybody can see that Mr Flizzow is capable of writing some quality raps. It’s just the case that he chooses not to, in the lead single Havoc, as well as the single I’m discussing right here.
Of course, the fact that I’m even talking about the single right now is a triumph for him, regardless of whether or not I’m talking about it in a positive light. No publicity is bad publicity, as the saying goes. But I had to get that off my chest anyway.
We could assume all we want. Assume that if he did try to put more effort into writing more intelligent-sounding songs, he wouldn’t be getting as much attention as he is getting. Assume that this is him demonstrating just how influential he is to the Malaysian public, to the point that he can release half-assed bars and still get people to listen to the songs (on repeat). Assume that at the end of the day, music is about making money, and because Joe seems to be doing very well for himself through his music, we can say that he’s super-successful.
But, I don’t know man, with as much influence (and talent) that he has, I don’t get why he doesn’t try to put in more effort to make positive social change. His apparent refusal to do this, through his songs especially, is what kinda gets at me.
I’m probably just hoping too much from one person. He is only human, and I can’t expect everyone to think like I do. But I just wish he’d listen to his brother Malique’s words of advice in the song Alhamdulillah “Bakat dikurnia jangan disalah guna / jangan kufur nikmat yang diberi percuma / guna kelebihan untuk hikmah bersama”.