Hip-Hop and therefore rap and all the other sub-genres that it spawned has always had a love of the hedonistic lifestyle. Commerciality may now be more of a driving force for the music being made on those tough streets but it never lost its sense of wanting more, craving success and the glamour of the lifestyle that it brings. Some might see cliche running through the song but this is a genre which has always known what it wanted and this may be just a mission statement rather than playing up to well used stereotypes. Okay, it is actually playing up to a stereotype but players will play…and why not?
But at least Reemo is honest about his aspirations, revelling in the fast life of the title, the money, the prestige, the respect, the power and everything that comes with standing out from the crowd. And he delivers a scatter gun of lyrical salvos, a fast flow and relentless delivery of rap narratives and scene setting storylines. Everything about the video plays into the concept too, not just the imagery, the gangster vibe, the money, the dope-smoke haze, the cars and the gold, but the way that the video is cut, jumping from street to party to studio in a blur of uptown glitz and down town glamour, of the mean streets and the urban sprawl. This is the music of the here and now, no looking back.
He delivers his narratives over skittering trap percussion and solid beats, it runs on a minimalist, future R&B groove, as much as it does a rap vibe and whereas many people making music in this urban arena are happy to rest on the musical laurels of past glories, Fast Life, as its name suggests, is more about moving forward and making your dreams come true.
But more than anything this song, and the video which acts as its visual wing man, is all about energy. It is there in the speed of the delivery, the cut of the visuals, the bravado of the lyrics, the inherent confidence, the desire to rise to the top no matter what it takes to get there. And despite the relentless aggression and the painting of the dark undercurrents of the world he lives in, there is fundamentally something good natured about the man himself, as if we all know that this is just Reemo living up to the image of the music he has made his profession, that this is really a different sort of game being played, that this is more about partying than playing the part of the bad boy.
Either way, Fast Life as a new contribution to the musical canon of urban music really adds something, perhaps writes the opening lines to a new chapter, but that remains to be seen.