VEXED is one of Australia’s most powerful emerging emcees. Based in the tropical far north, his perspective is a unique addition to the country’s already highly diverse hip hop community — distilling a raw honesty that few dare to tap into. Pouring this realness into every track, VEXED has created something fittingly cyclonic on his latest EP, A Fact Of Life.
Setting the stage with an intro that is part hip hop minimalism / part philosophy, VEXED rolls out his attack on A Fact Of Life like a carpet bombing of truth, satire and wit. Each song comes loaded with weight and meaning, often taking VEXED into painful and uncomfortable territory. Say What You Mean is appropriately titled and startling real; delving into themes of betrayal and coming out emotionally raw and cutting. Current single Forge Your Resume makes light of bleak future prospects, while Winter Wind is fittingly cold; flowing into themes of reflection and atonement on triumphant EP closer I Am Only Human.
But just like its namesake, A Fact Of Life is not all heavy existentialism. First single, Superficial, u-turns the EP with a fist-pumping party anthem that matches lyrical barbs with equally sharp musical hooks. Different without sounding out of place, Superficial shows off VEXED’s ability to avoid repetition, keep his ideas fresh, and write a bangin’ tune.
And while A Fact Of Life is undoubtedly the product of a single artist’s vision, one of its most outstanding features comes via collaboration: its beats. Recorded and mixed by VEXED in his home studio, A Fact Of Life is built on a bedrock of solid rhythms, courtesy of Perth indie hip hop beat-maker Creed Birch and Townsville rapper/producer Daze Affair. The end result is a perfect half-way point between hip hop that makes you think, and hip hop that makes you jump.
A native of Cooktown (population 2,400) VEXED’s home is the Australia that the world sees on postcards… a literal paradise where the Queensland rainforest meets the Great Barrier Reef. Beautiful but isolated, the remote town had all the right ingredients to breed a rapper fuelled by introspection. One of the most honest, self-analytical records of 2017, A Fact Of Life is a testament to VEXED’s talent and hard work, but also his willingness to bear his soul. By doing so, he has proven without a doubt his sheer versatility as a rapper, songwriter and producer.
A Fact of Life EP is out now on CD and Digital feat. Forge Your Resume and Superficial