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AAA Music | 25 June 2022

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WATSKY – Cardboard Castles

| On 04, Aug 2013

watsky

Despite my indifference for rap music, there is a small opening for appreciation of artists who produce a string of words, which if listened to closely, become a work of art. George Watsky is one of those artists.

George Watsky is a San Francisco born but Los Angeles based rapper, writer and performer. Using only Watsky as his stage name, he released his third album, Cardboard Castles on the 15th July 2013.

It is an album that finds the perfect balance between heartfelt, honest lyrics and joking around showing off his knack with words. Whilst he gets you thinking through songs such as ‘Tiny Glowing Screens Pt 2’, the track ‘Ugly Faces’ is reminiscent of Eminem’s humorous side in his songs such as ‘Just Lose It’.

Alongside this, conversations between him and a young boy intertwined through the tracks keep this light-hearted mood throughout the album, which also reminded me of Eminem where he included clips of his daughter Haley in his music.

The contrast of Watsky’s lyrics, which are filled with life experience against the innocent ramblings of the child, is intriguing to listen to. Though this is not the only contrast within the album.

When reviewing this album I mentioned to my mother that one of the tracks was called ‘Hey Asshole’. This was not received well, despite her being surprisingly accepting of most musical offerings and I too was uneasy about the title. However, when I listened to the song, the feminine contrast of Kate Nash’s vocals against the rap verses made me forgive the crassness of the choice of lyrics.

It’s when you look at his online videos that you see the characteristics of a performance poet. His hand actions and facial expressions draw you into what he’s saying, just like Sarah Kay’s performances. I think it is this too that allow his songs to tell his stories in the most colourful musical way. The speed at which he can deliver lyrics while still being perfectly coherent is faster than I have heard and leaves you wanting more.

Rap artists like Watsky have an effect on people that is not often found through other genres of music. On the Youtube video for his Cardboard Castle’s single ‘Sloppy Seconds’, a fan named Andrew Alexander left the following comment: ‘Hey Watsky, you may never see this, but I have to say it- listening to your music got me through some serious shit in my life. Around May this year is when I started listening to your music and I knew as soon as my life started falling you were the one I could turn to. Never stop making music. I love you man and so do so many other people. You are my idol.”

It is through comments like these, and your own emotions you feel during his album, that you realize the reach a person can have through the honesty of words. Watsky takes the experiences and thoughts he shares with everyday people and puts them in a way that appeals to many listeners.

Rachael Pilkington