Hip-hop has reached an apex in its storied history and is redefining its ethos like never before, and in that spirit, we find the melodic sounds of Allocai, a Los Angeles-based, multi-hyphenate songwriter and performer whose new single, “Be My Main,” is stirring up a lot of accolades this August. Right from the start of the song, his multilayered harmonies and soothing croon are as indebted to the fluidity of modern rap as they are old school R&B, and try as they might, I don’t know that any of his rivals on the west coast are going to be able to compete with the hybrid caliber of content he’s discharging here.
I’m picking up a lot of Caribbean influences in “Be My Main,” and they extend from Allocai’s method of execution with regards to the verses all the way through to the very design of the percussion. There’s a swagger to the step of this track that can’t be shook once you’ve noticed it, and I think that it’s what makes the song so listenable time and time again. This level of confidence isn’t common among rookie recording artists; in fact, I’d say that it’s more typical of a seasoned studio veteran.
It isn’t hard to fall in love with the rhythm in this single, and I appreciate Allocai putting as much of an emphasis on its swing as he did. Trying to resist the urge to dance with these flamboyant beats playing in the background is pretty tough, and at the right volume, totally unachievable. “Be My Main” might not have been conceived with the nightclub crowd in mind, but there’s no doubt that it would be a prime choice for any summer dance playlist nonetheless. Developing a crossover song isn’t a simple task, but this is one artist who appears to be rather adept at making the entire concept sound fairly easy.
Though I would have probably put a little more muscularity into the EQ on the vocal track in the chorus, I think that I can understand what Allocai was trying to accomplish by going with this sound instead. In keeping the levels between the instruments and his own singing on somewhat of an equilibrium, the harmonies that they create together take on an angelic, almost symphonic power which makes the climax of the song even more cinematic than it already would have been. Its framework is definitely strong enough to give a stripped-down version of “Be My Main” just as much of presence as it has here, and that’s not something I can say for most of Allocai’s major label counterparts’ new material debuting this season.
Allocai’s music has been on my radar for a minute now, but I hadn’t anticipated being as impressed with “Be My Main” as I was upon recently giving it a spin over the weekend. There are a lot of songwriters trying to cultivate a sound similar to his at the moment, but I can’t name one that has been able to construct as gripping a hook as he has in the last couple of singles that he’s dropped. As long as he keeps making music like this, he’s going to have quite a successful career in the years to come.
by Bethany Page
The music of ALLOCAI has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com