Spayyzee – Work for It
The loose, inspiring confidence of Spayyzee’s single “Work for It” is a welcome reminder that great work is still be produced in the hip hop genre and a young vanguard is rising from obscurity to lead the form into a brave new future. There are a lot of familiar elements heard in this track that are common in the musical body of the song, but Spayyzee and his collaborator DC Steez bring verve and personality to the song that’s all their own. It’s a worthy successor to his first single “Distance Myself”, but the song goes further by building on the success of the first song and exposing a side of Michael Plotkin, otherwise known Spayyzee, which the first single doesn’t touch on. This Pennsylvania born hip hop artist has a maturity and command of technique that goes far past the typical talent level of youthful artists in any musical area.
“Work for It” has a steady musical and vocal build. Few tracks in the area employ two vocalists the way that Spayyzee and his partner DC Steez work during this performance. Despite their differences in sound, they complement each other quite well. DC Steez has the more traditional sound, silky smooth, assured, but Spayyzee brings his own authority to bear on the song as well with his more gravelly approach. Both are equally musical. Spayyzee, in particular, is especially adept at exploiting the potential of the vocal rhythm and the lyrical build in such a way that his voice acts as another quasi-instrument in the mix, more so than what it already would. Steez’s effect is similar, but much more expected. Their interplay and individual performances feed off the backing track every bit as much as the musical arrangement feeds off of them. They, likewise, have sharp instincts for when to press harder on the listener and when to back off. The lyrics clearly invoke the song’s subject matter and lay out the performer’s case without ever chasing its own tail. There’s no overwriting here – it is likely that Spayyzee knew exactly what to say and how he wanted to say it when he entered the recording studio. The confidence is unmistakable.
Four minutes is just the right amount of time for this song to work its magic. Neither performer hogs too much of the spotlight and their clear intention to serve the structure further enriches the performance. The instrumentation is a delicate and groove-oriented weave of electronic sounds and a loping beat that promises to physically provoke listeners. It isn’t necessarily a dance-able number or poppish, but the accessibility is unquestionable. The song’s breakdown in the second half is the only time that it veers from the path established at the outset, but the transition into and out of this section is expertly handled. Spayyzee and DC Steez have scored a big winner with “Work for It” and the second single from his impending debut release shows that album is going to be one of the more important offerings from a hip hop act this year.