John Francis, known by his artist name Absolute Doubt, is an up-and-coming rapper with a talent for freestyling. He works with a number of artists and producers on his latest EP “When Nightmares Become Dreams”, including Lucki, Jay Storm, and Downtime. The project imbues most of the tropes in contemporary swaggy rap music with an omnipresent breeziness that feels endemic to a luxurious daydream. The 2-song release consists of mid-tempo, gently forlorn hip-hop, padded out with New Age trap gauze. The music is pervaded by an all-embracing sonic fog. Absolute Doubt is best when he is pitted against gently fibrillating melodic tones. Ideally, a good Absolute Doubt song is indelible, in its icily satisfying musical particulars. Which is exactly what the mesmerizing textures of “When Nightmares become Dreams” delivers.
Absolute Doubt has a distinctively homogeneous flow but when placed on top of the EP’s dark, fluttering production – it sounds notably more dynamic than you initially perceive. Clearly Absolute Doubt seems to have developed an ear for beats that complement his vocal range. His mind is a finely-tuned instrument.
Self-awareness is key, and getting in touch with that allows Absolute Doubt to separate himself from the pack, reaching territories where only a few of his contemporaries reside. Its’ the artist’s somber vocals that cut through the most. They evoke extreme melancholic chill even in the throes of intense passion.
It’s a contrast of conflicted confidence that he radiates, a kind of self-possession that emits so powerfully you could feel it even if he was standing silently in the back of a crowded room. I definitely would say this EP is worth a listen but I wouldn’t suggest listening if all you’re looking for is hype music or for things you can dance to, because “When Nightmares Become Dreams,” is filled with things that make you want to think, reflect, or just honestly be able to understand where John Francis aka Absolute Doubt is coming from.
“Nightmares Become Dreams” brings the EP to a fantastic start, the dark and dreamy beat giving credence to the real merit Absolute Doubt’s his lyrics. Unlike much of the rest of the genre, Francis raps about something with emotion with words that really sound personal.
“Invitation” follows with a dark resonant bassline sound and an eerie keyboard that makes the realness of the beginning of the record even more real. The dark and moody atmosphere really does Absolute Doubt wonders.
The better part of the EP shows something about Absolute Doubt’s character and inner thoughts rather than the flashy side his contemporaries flaunt. It’s a risky record for not having a real banger on it, but it makes up for it by tackling something that many artists today on the scene wouldn’t. Knowing your strengths and limitations is a skill that few in the business have today.
Absolute Doubt on this EP is not only able to recognize his limits, but accentuate his strengths. “When Nightmares Become Dreams” significance is its versatile display of Absolute Doubt’s freestyling lyrical charm. Throughout the EP’s playing time, the rapper demonstrates his ability to be thoughtful, assertive, and vulnerable.
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