As we move towards the last quarter of the year and pause for reflection on all that has come to pass over the last 12 months, one thing sticks out more than all the personal claims and overrated hype regarding mainstream releases: how varied, eclectic and, almost astounding, the year of 2017 has been for underground hip hop. Not least among these, being Clutch 1, who now returns with a brand new single entitled, “That’s Him” [Prod by Frantik The God]. Clutch 1 is an independent emcee representing Treasure Coast FL (Port St. Lucie to be exact) by way of the Bronx, who grew up on Nas, Redman, Outkast and The Wu-Tang Clan, among others.
It’s a gutsy maneuver releasing a track almost on the other side of summer, though it’s also a rather smart decision given everything that’s come before it. Clutch 1, the street poet who emerges as one of hip-hop’s Flag bearers, rarely makes music that panders to rap’s younger generation of fans. Instead, he evolves his sound while sticking to his roots.
Like his previous releases, “That’s Him” [Prod by Frantik The God] is the highest form of hip-hop artistry — using lyrics to craft a gripping, narrative that could easily be a adapted into an art house film. It certainly forces the listener to fully commit to the world Clutch 1 has created.
That might be tough for those mainstreamers who are more accustomed to shallower, digestible soundbites than full-course meals. Regardless, you won’t find a better example of the art of storytelling, than this. “That’s Him” is all about scenes, and Clutch 1 keeps the frames moving as steady and vivid as ever.
The horns give way to brief noir orchestrations, as the music succeeds on the strength of its groovy rhythm section. It underpins superlative verses from Clutch 1 as the bassist rumbles and rolls through the arrangement with vintage soul-based riffs.
From “That’s Him” [Prod by Frantik The God], any, and all collaborators, can walk away with their heads held high. Clutch 1 continues to establish himself as an emerging force, and yet again proves the versatility of his talent. The strength of Clutch 1’s personality and storytelling ability carry this track through to the finish line, ahead of the pack.