Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Loyle Carner changes gears on powerful new single ‘Hate’

South London rapper Loyle Carner has dropped his new single ‘Hate’, three years after his last album ‘Not Waving but Drowning’

While his real name is Benjamin Coyle-Larner, his stage name is a spoonerism, in reference to his dyslexia. It has been a quiet few years for the rapper who has not released any music of his own since before the lockdown, instead turning his focus to fatherhood as he recently became a dad for the first time. With his previous works earning him Mercury Prize and Brit Award attention, expectations were high for the musician's next project.

‘Hate’ does not disappoint, taking Carner's sound in a bold new direction. Matching dramatic instrumentation with striking lyricism, the song exudes feelings of anger, pain and grief. The rapper recently said that this is the only song of his to come from a place of hate and ugliness - he attempts to reveal beauty in these unlikely places. While songs like ‘Ottolenghi’ and Damselfly’ offer soft and soulful beats under Carner's mellow raps, with chilled-out features from the likes of Tom Misch, the drums in ‘Hate’ are instead forceful and awakening.

The lyrics are no less ambitious written as a raw explosion of emotion, political frustration and social fatigue. Race is a primary theme in this track where the rapper laments the position black men hold in UK society: “Yeah, they said it was all that you could be if you were black/ Playing ball or maybe rap, and they would say it like a fact.” In a moment of vulnerability, he also reflects on his experience of being mixed race: “Yeah, I fear the colour of my skin/ I fear the colour of my kin/ I still feel the colour that's within.” This theme has been touched on by Carner in previous songs such as ‘Looking Back’, where lyrics such as “Mixed race, colour on my face, feeling misplaced” and “Told me I'm from Ghana but really it's Guyana” express the rapper's fears and feelings of isolation surrounding his race. Yet despite the seeming futility of a song so enveloped in hate and anguish, the political awareness of this offers the listener a sense of hope in the battle. The musician's return shows that he remains one of UK raps most unique and innovative artists.


Annie Hackett


Image: ‘Hate’ Official Single Cover

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