HVNCOQ holds nothing back in the powerful ‘Blackout’
From the opening lines of ‘Blackout’, it’s clear that Melbourne rapper HVNCOQ is absolutely done with playing games. “Judge me on my whole race / Judge me ‘cos my black face / Just tell me when the court date / Judge me on a cold case,” may be one of the most unfiltered, unapologetic and unbelievably real openings to a song all year. ‘Blackout’ is the result of a ruthless and racist history of Australia’s media, and by extension Australia itself, and HVNCOQ is here holding us all accountable.
The beat is stalking and ominous, but gives spotlight to the absolute truthbombs HVNCOQ is dropping from start to finish. Leaving no moment left unmilked, the New Zealand born rapper squares up as he asks, “Bitch, you scared of the dark?” His flow moves laterally, as he morphs from playful to war-ready, reminiscent of icons like Chance The Rapper. And, much like the Chicago rapper, HVNCOQ’s voice is so commanding that one has no choice but to listen.
WOLFI‘s production on the track further complements and accelerates HVNCOQ‘s words of warning. It’s a beat that keeps rolling, albeit subtly, but very clearly reinforces the lyrical assault we’re being delivered. This song is an eruption of frustration, annoyance and anger at Australia’s treatment and ‘othering’ of people of colour, but Wolfi makes sure that it’s those words that get that across. The restraint that the track is produced with only heightens the lyrics and echoes HVNCOQ‘s powerful message of the fact that he and so many others are sick, tired and ready to fight for the fair treatment that they always deserved.
Words by JACKSON LANGFORD