THEAUSSIEWORD Single Review: RATES (ft. Aliya Dusk) – Clouded

Australian hip-hop star Sydney based music artist Rates has just released his long-awaited single Clouded. The new track was produced by Defiant (HZN beats) and engineered by Espa at Safe House Studios. With an exhaustive list of sell-out headline shows to his credit, Rates has also appeared on national stages in several festivals and national tours, including Big Day Out, Breath of Life Festival, Heatwave, Tech N9ne, Task Force, and many more.

With two massive #1 Australian hip-hop albums under his belt, including Destroy and Rebuild (2013) and Untold (2016) and his tracks Nightmare and Nightmare 2 attracting over 4 million YouTube views collectively, Clouded will undoubtedly add to Rates’ growing statue as the consummate, contemporary Australian hip-hop, rap artist. Featuring the enigmatic vocals of new talent, Aliya Dusk, Clouded rises above the average and straight into the captivating. Revered for his connection with the listener via his unique narrative and rhyming style, Rates’ assured musical articulation and memorable performances have attracted a strong and loyal legion of followers.

As well as containing a big chorus hook that makes the most of Aliya Dusk’s heart-stopping cadences, Clouded features startling, relatable imagery, inventive use of language and Rates’ typically vigorous presentation of observations and wordplay. The track’s ultimate potency lies not only in how the hook and Rates’ verses are juxtaposed but perhaps most powerfully in the efficacy of the rhymes and the poignant and clear observations. Clouded is sure to thrust Rates, and Aliya, into the next level of their blossoming musical careers. With lines like, Yeah I guess I got my head in the clouds / and it’s strange there’s a deafening sound / I remember my dreams, and then forget what they’re about, Rates transposes his stark self-assessment into a fittingly quixotical and picturesque image, this talent one of the many that have helped him rise above the crowd.

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