Listen: Gallu$ - Versatile/Apathetic
Brisbane-based rapper Gallu$ releases his debut single on Bedlam Records.
Teaming up with the folks at Bedlam Records, Brisbane-via-Sudan rapper Gallu$ recently released his debut single, Versatile/Apathetic. Clocking in at just over two and a half minutes, Versatile/Apathetic is essentially two short tracks smooshed together and acts as suitable teaser - demonstrating Gallu$’s natural flow, skill and versatility. Displaying a proclivity for jazzy boom-bap, the beat(s) for Versatile/Apathetic were created by Dutch producer Thovobeats. The production is sample-based (you can even here the faint, distant, vinyl crackle) and possesses the typical aesthetic of jazzy boom-bap; a smooth, soulful yet somewhat dusty feel. Thankfully, Gallu$’s flow and lyricism perfectly mirror this.
Although Gallu$ doesn’t seem to like comparisons (“don’t compare me to other rappers”), it seems inevitable that the internets will make them. As a result, expect to hear his name lumped in when rappers like Baro, Jon and Remi are mentioned – a small, select group of Australian rappers who seem to be ‘redefining’ the Australian rap sound. The comparisons make sense, as Gallu$ displays that same versatility. With smooth flow and clever lyricism, his vocals are likely to suit a number of different production styles and contexts; whether it’d be boom-bap, blunted cloud rap or mellow R&B.
Although Gallu$’s versatility is perhaps more obvious on Versatile/Apathetic – it is his apathy that is central to his future success. Gallu$’s apathy doesn’t equate to laziness or complacency, rather, it mirrors a peaceful, transient approach to creation; "got a book full of unfinished raps/I probably leave them like that/'cause there’s no going back". At a time when many Australian rappers feel too referential to their US counterparts, too eager to create a ‘hit’ and too likely rap outside their own context – Gallu$ seems happy to just ‘be’ – and that’s more than OK with me.