16 Bit, taken from the album Back from the Dead, is a hip-hop homage to the early days of video games…well, sort of. Its a sparky, lyrically smart track, one that is both fresh and yet familiar, leaning back as it does on those classic hip-hop traditions, it is an instant hit, feeling as if you have already been listening to most of your adult life, always the sign of a song with real longevity, and it fits with the contemporary sound as readily as it does the early days of, what we now call, urban music.
But for me, its best quality is its pep and punch. Catfish Walkin’ clearly remembers what it was that made hip-hop, rap and all the other associated scenes so great in the first place. The lyrical prowess, the sense of fun, the tongue in cheek references, the blending of reality with a conjured mythology, the energy and euphoria. Remember those?
When you find yourself faced with yet another self-aggrandising, mumbling rapper, with little to say and nowhere to go, be aware that there are still artists who remember what made the scene tickin the first place, what makes it work today and what will keep such music vibrant and relevant into the future, even if it might be referencing classic, 16-bit video games. Artists like Catfish Walkin’.