City Inside The Desert – Rocadopolis (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

City Inside The Desert is, in many ways, a love letter to Phoenix, Arizona. But it is also one based in reality. Rather than mythologise and pander to the cities image, Rocadopolis takes an honest look at his home town’s beating heart, pulling no punches whilst clearly proud to be from that place. And it is this honesty, this intimacy and grounding in reality which makes his music important. Whilst many rappers are happy to use self-aggrandisement and exaggeration to make themselves look important, to heighten their own reality, Rocadopolis comes from a much more truthful place.

As an integral part of the underground rap scene, Rocadopolis has risen through the ranks, extending his influence, instigating and inspiring as he goes, but as the song makes clear, he is in it for the long haul. His music is part of a movement, both subversive and creative, under the radar and woven through with the realities of everyday life.

Driving on spacious bass beats and skittering percussion, the vocals are the focal point, punchy lyrics delivered in a deft and dexterous fashion and as it should be with such music, message is everything. Add in a few ambient washes and understated, chiming piano and you have a song which is both wonderfully spacious and full to the brim with the sound of the streets.

They say that honesty is the best policy. This is what honesty sounds like.

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