Photo credit: Cerebrum Collective
By Darryl Paul
The latest from the Filipino - American rapper is a zestful, vigorous project, combining genres and versatile singing, re-emerging from darkness into light.
As a rapper, singer, songwriter the 23-year old Philippine born, Ez Mil has always been consistent and effective with the music that he exhibits. “DU4LI7Y” (Duality) being Ez’s latest project, the ten-song soundtrack, engineered and produced by Ez himself, firmly establishes the artist as one of the most promising of his generation. The project is a continuation of his first album, released in 2020, “Act 1”.
“DU4LI7Y” conjures some of the most versatile music Ez has produced as he ricochets from one language to another, changing the flow across, effortlessly floating over the beats. The songs’ contemplating structures leave enough space for Ez to rap smoothly along with the beats. His songs engulf every emotion from repentance, to love, to heartbreak, to hometown pride. Ez Mil paints a complex portrait of his life in the Philippines, which further underlines Ez Mil’s unique genre fluidity and reveals a more mature, refined musician.
The opening song, “Rapture”, features some of Ez’s vocal adaptability from rapping to his growly-voiced, deathcore alter-ego. “Rapture” picks up where Act 1 left off. To make the sound more gritty we have ripping heavy guitar riffs and howling drums. “Can You Keep A Secret?”, is a Michael Jackson - inspired track, says Ez. The track is taken over by jazzy instruments where Ez Mil narrates how his mother rescues his family from familia strife. “Spinning” is a synth-inspired track that sees the rapper vent about living without his father over a “spinning” two-chord melody. We then go into “Up Down” where the rapper gets back to his
old school rapping skilfulness accompanied with some futuristic beats. “Greed” is a track that whirls into a hip-hop, light-hearted, insouciant love song something that would bring the listeners fully out of the darkness and into light. The final track “Will You” is a grandiose, string-filled, choir-esque ballad that displays Ez Mil’s growth as a musician. Ez shows his devotion to his loved ones and his roots while remaining true to himself.
Along with release of the album, Ez Mil has shared the heartfelt, R&B - leaning track “Ridin’ With Moonlight” with an official video. The song spills out the softer, more sensitive side of the musician where his versatility in vocals takes a smooth lead.
The most recently released single from the album is “27 Bodies”. The official music video is Ez Mil’s take on putting his own instrumentals to his “24 Bars Challenge”- which racked up more than 7.9 million views on his original YouTube upload. “27” being his favourite number and “bodies” representing the victims of societal brutality. On the new single, he says, “I hope my track enlightens people or at least makes them critically think and be aware of our society. Let’s not get blindsided with the good and be ignorant with evil”. Ez “gets real in the second half, unloading his frustrations on never-ending cycles of poverty and the manipulative fake news”.
DU4LI7Y’s fiery first single “Re-Up” was his first in 2022, a song that accentuates his aggressive vocal style and ability to expertly turn any beat into his own. The song has Ez continuously switching back and forth from Tagalog and English which provides the listeners verses in both languages.
Ez recently appeared on the famed Apple Music radio show, the Charlie Sloth Rap Show, where he has given a glimpse of his effortless ability to perform on the spot and glowingly weave in and out from Tagalog and English. Ez made a major splash with his hit song “Panalo” which has garnered almost 71 million views. Ez also released a special version of the video celebrating boxing icon and Filipino senator Manny Pacquiao.
Overall “DU4LI7Y” can be categorized as an album that’s expanding the horizons just far enough to merge the modern sounds and music with some old-school art. The album brings the listeners into the ethereal universe built by Ez where he defies borders and blends genres like never before. It’s not surprising Ez knows how to ride this kind of effort that makes his music stand out.
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