On his aptly-titled album Anthems Of A Life Congolese-born rapper Innocent delves deep into his own soul; commentating and celebrating the contradictions of living in the modern world.
The skilful lyricist’s unique palette is characterised by an infusion of hip-hop, R&B and soul – resulting in a beautiful collision of minimalistic music and meticulous self-analysis.
Innocent brilliantly wraps deeply complex and brutally honest lyrics in music that is sparse and capacious. His beats and melodies are incredibly mellow and unpretentious, often vying for a monotonal backdrop to his multidimensional concepts. The result is powerful… deeply meditative and relaxing sounds, mixed with evocative, thought-provoking concepts.
Anthems Of A Life explores a recurring theme of being young and living the single life – chasing all the highs of an existence landscaped by sex and drugs – though Innocent fritters between lauding over this lifestyle and pining for something more substantial. This dichotomy affects his lyrics in a profound way, with the album flowing like a tell-all autobiography.
Each song feels like a search for tranquillity: Club Trance contemplates how the fear of vulnerability creates a cycle of temporary and ultimately meaningless hookups; Sunshine is a therapeutic combative to the negative forces of betrayal, burnout and insomnia; while December 28th sheds light on the thoughts and insecurities that are constantly on the artist’s mind. In new single Legendary Innocent expresses the joy in making music and celebrating the people in his life while also appreciating the importance of being alone and the benefits that come from it.
In these explorations, Innocent side-steps the common rapper fare of self-aggrandising lyrics for something more real, more poetic and less pretentious. His style is progressive and unlike any of his peers, yet it does not find itself out of place among the greats. It is as fittingly part of club culture as it is one step beyond it.
As a songwriter, producer and performer Innocent is unlike any other artist – a product of both his Congolese heritage and his upbringing in Perth. Permeating every moment of Anthems Of A Life, this atypical approach is not only what gives his music a point of difference, it is also the fire that makes Innocent one of Australia’s most promising, most culturally significant new talents.