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An in-depth look at established artist careers that relate to social, political, and/or spiritual issues.
This showcase features underrated, talented performers whose names have yet to be discovered.
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06: 070 Shake

Photo By Dan Regan

“Only We Live Forever, So Don’t You Think Bout Timing Me…”

The distinction between and R&B and Hip-Hop is slighter than ever. There was a time when there was little crossover between the two, where the likes of Nate Dogg, Phonte and Lauryn Hill were very much an outlier. But since the turn of the century, after T-Pain laid the foundations, Kanye West adjusted listeners’ palettes before Drake catapulted this playbook into stratospheric heights of success. With help and assistance from professional tools, most rappers try their luck at harmonising their way through their bars, whilst the singers are no strangers to laying down a quick sixteen for bit of variety. Being able to pull the two off, whether said artists excel in either of them or not, has become a regular requirement as opposed to a unique, hot commodity. With a sharp increase in acquiring talent able to do both, distinguishing between who exactly has the potential to stand the test of time or not becomes a challenge. So, 070 Shake.

Why choose her to be firmly under our spotlight? Why is she the one who has well and truly Arrived? Why dig deeper than the surface to embrace her artistry ahead of others in this particular pocket of the modern-day recording industry? In short, 070 Shake possesses true duality that her contemporaries don’t.

Drawing from a diverse background, it should probably come as little surprise that the New Jersey native of Dominican decent has such an accomplished ability to be truly fluid in her music. She dips in and out of both singing and rapping styles effortlessly, even at times striking a middle ground between them at once. From her early days of forming and performing with her 070 Collective (a naming convention that tributes their New Jersey zip code), before blowing up on Soundcloud and kickstarting a tug of war for her signature, until to this very day as we anticipate her second album to drop, 070 Shake has managed to grab the attention of industry heavyweights like it’s second nature. Kanye West, Pusha T, Madonna, and Mike Dean; The 070 Shake fan club is of an exceedingly high calibre, something that YesJulz probably could have foreseen when winning the race to sign her.

070 Collective by Matthew Salacuse

Perhaps her early musings of poetry in her younger age were the building block for her being able to capture our imaginations. Or maybe her use of distorted vocals and experimental beat selections - straight out of the Kanye/Kid Cudi/GOOD Music playbooks (all of whom she’s been vocal about their influence) - allows listeners to indulge in the unique edge she brings to the modern R&B table. It could even be her natural personality that just shines through and strikes a chord. Well, step right up and take your pick, because whatever her unique selling point is, there’s something for everybody. She is a talent that defies the frameworks of any genre.

Her debut EP, “Glitter”, contained dark tones and themes, addressing issues like experiences with her background, drug use and sexuality. The duality that sets her apart shone through, as her delivery entices and encapsulates listeners’ ears and takes them into mellow, ambient moods. The EP’s title track was befitting for Netflix’s hit show “On My Block” during a scene depicting a memorial service. 070 Shake’s ability to cool fires with ice is symbolic throughout her art and applicable to many facets of life in the 21st century.

With excitement and intrigue going into “Modus Vivendi,” in line with the mystique of her character, 070 Shake completely flipped the script, which lead to a critically acclaimed debut album.

Cover Art For 070 Shake's "Modus Vivendi"

From title to cover art, depicted as some kind of machine, she continues down the routes of emotional exploration, but within much more maximalist and expansive arrangements. This time, she seemed intent on melting the cool glaciers of her artistic intuitions with a blazing passion (tell me your album has Mike Dean working on it without telling me your album has Mike Dean working on it, right?). But it was this bold, futuristic approach to her everyday life that truly placed a spotlight on her talents and layers of artistry. Of the album, she told SK Vibemaker:

A benchmark to represent what kind of time we are living in….these phones are an extension of us/part of us….we coexist with these machines representing the fusion of machine and man.”

Indeed, her unique perspective of the world and approach to life/music cemented her as a special talent with clear longevity. Oh,and she did it without any features also:

With me, any session I go into I want to be completely open, and not put me into a box”.

We find ourselves at a stage where we eagerly anticipate the next installment in 070 Shake’s journey and creativity. Her new album, “You Can’t Kill Me Because I Don’t Exist,” comes at a time where she’s no longer an unknown, or even a known unknown at that.

She’s obtained visibility in the mainstream with a handful of collaborations, notably DJ Khaled and Madonna, and has a proof of work that has established a core fanbase. Whether she delivers the same messages in her distinctive style, or enters unfamiliar territory remains an unknown, but she certainly has the capabilities to deliver a gripping journey. What we can say though is that 070 Shake is an artist that progresses at her own pace and champions the separation between public and private life. It’s evident in the duality of her music, and her day-to-day living as a larger than life, influential musician who still retains a private Instagram account. At Arriver, we count ourselves massive fans of her work and how she conducts her business, so we’re on the edge of our seats, awaiting the next chapter in her story.

Written by: @Whosaria

Edited by: @Arriv3r

In collaboration with Insight.