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Tyson onBEATS’ drop “BLVK Mirror”

Slightly reserved but nevertheless capable of leaving a potent mark on anyone within earshot, there’s an instant ominousness created by the beat in Tyson onBEATS’ “BLVK Mirror” you won’t be able to shake for hours after initially hearing the track or seeing its music video. “BLVK Mirror” challenges us, regardless of background, race or religion, to think about the Black American experience through a lens we might not have without a bit of artistic provocation, and in light of what’s been taking place in this country not just recently but for centuries, it couldn’t be hitting record store shelves at a better moment in time.

More on Tyson onBEATS: https://www.tysononbeats.com/

The passion in the vocal we find in this track is only matched by the visuals in the music video, some of which are bound to make you physically sick if you’ve got any sort of investment in humanity beyond surface level relationships. There’s a feeling of retrospection as our leading man cuts through poetic lines about the past skewed with shots of the present, each seemingly more chill-inducing than the one that came before it. There is no relief, no cathartic break to behold in “BLVK Mirror;” much like the tragic fate of those whose pictures we see in this video, there is only a tension that grows more painful by each passing moment.

There’s no room for filler or showboating in a single like this, nor is there any place for a lot of chest-pounding bravado in the music video for “BLVK Mirror.” Although this track feels like a barebones composition both stylistically and production-wise, it’s ironically the most emotional performance I have heard out of Tyson onBEATS since his debut album was released all the way back in 2013. He doesn’t need any assistance from behind the sound board to make a point here – his words and the melody beside them do a fine job on their own.

This instrumentation definitely incorporates a brooding foundation to the verses in general, and while the strength of “BLVK Mirror” primarily comes from the rapper responsible for the lead vocal, there’s just as much to be said about the finer melodic points in the backdrop here. This single and its video are a powerful combination, and though they’re not necessarily geared towards one audience over another, I think they’ve got a solid chance of winning some serious accolades from critics in the underground before the year expires.

“BLVK Mirror” isn’t the first instance in which Tyson onBEATS has shown us a lot of skill from within the recording studio, but from where I sit, this is undeniably some of the most heartfelt work he’s ever attached his name to. 2020 is a time for action, and if you haven’t seen the nightly news lately, you’ve likely felt the urgency of the moment simply walking down your local city streets. Tyson onBEATS captures that feeling eloquently in this fantastic new single and its music video, both of which deserve a lot more attention than they’ve been getting.

John McCall

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