Erich Mrak is a Canadian up-and-comer in the realm of experimental hip hop, and his new single, produced in part with Bento, another up-and-comer out of Toronto. Mrak’s songs prior to this one have had hints here and there of more electronic leanings, but “Summer Dealer” sees the rapper and songwriter step into full electronic territory with a smooth but steppy trap beat.
“Summer Dealer” opens with a heavy bass drop but also some R&B throwback melodies thanks to the retro-sounding, glockenspiel-mimicking synths. Mrak’s vocals here are much more singsongy than on previous tracks, but it’s really the only way rap could work with this super-chill musical vibe. In the UK, in fact, this is how many rappers made the crossover into electronic music possible: by becoming more melodic. Think grime artists like Wretch 32 and Lethal Bizzle, and Maverick Sabre. Grime, however, is still very much rooted in hip hop or garage beat-wise. “Summer Dealer” crosses over fully into EDM with the beat.
Said beat is light and chill, almost like a slowed-down liquid track if the beat weren’t actually exactly opposite drum and bass. It straddles trap, dubstep and halftime like many producers are doing lately, but it’s still light and steppy and the bass is more ambient than the average trap or dubstep tune. With the twin melodies of the keys and Mrak’s vocals and relaxed, weed-centric lyrics, it’s a great way to make a subtle R&B/hip hop/crossover jam, and a great way to close out the summer.
“Summer Dealer” will be available to the public tomorrow, August 29.