Rebel ACA & The French Monkey Wrench have always been on the funky side of hip hop, with their first album Sunday’s Cool and their early singles being infused with jazz flourishes. Recently, however, the duo have gone a bit farther into funk when they started working with reggae vocalists Danny Sprang and iSTAND and fellow producer Lil’ Rossco.
Adding these reggae and syncopation elements to their 2020 and early 2021 singles “Dance Without Fear” and “Mr. Simplicity,” respectively seemed to push the Rebel and French sound into a more clearly positive realm as well. Just as edgy with their jazz infusion and with Rebel ACA’s powerful vocals cutting through whatever backing track was going on, these tracks seemed to ring with both artists and audiences. So, despite a bit of a break between early 2021 and now, it’s no surprise that their new single “Never Give Up” has a similar tone and vibe.
Based on tracks like “Social Distancing” and of course “Dance Without Fear,” Rebel, French and their compatriots were very much affected by the COVID lockdown, as most musical artists were. They decided to turn that crazy time into something positive, however, and that’s where we also find “Never Give Up.” Likely the most pop-friendly offering from the collabing artists thus far, “Never Give Up” is a clear call to rebuild, but it’s on a personal level. Filled with island beats and vintage synths, this track solidifies Rebel, French and their collaborators in the uplifting dance music game.
We shouldn’t assume that this is Rebel ACA & The French Monkey Wrench’s final form. The duo are diverse in sound and style with the sky really being the limit in terms of the art they want to put out. Like many musical artists have done, in the last two years, these two along with their collaborators have put out work that will help lift up their audience in these strange times. Still with a strong social commentary and a strong base in funk and hip hop, “Never Give Up” is a great, positive vibe for what is hopefully better times to come.
“Never Give Up” is out now on Buttercuts Records. Click here to purchase or stream on multiple platforms.