The prolific KeithCharles Spacebar from the Awful Records crew is back at it again with a collection of sounds he wrote, produced, and recorded entitled “Me in Heaven. Me in Hell, Vol II.” Released as a single continuous track broken into multiple sections, the project was created in such a way that each movement responds off the previous. The track opens with a sample from The Isley Brother’s “Voyage to Atlantis,” with the classic soul group moaning “I’ll always come back to you.” This segues not so coincidentally into KCSB’s first mantra-like verse: “Hips like Cinderella / Ten foot ballerina / Geeked up off that yayo / Hey it’s nice to meet you,” which is repeated six times until the next beat is dialed up. While the project isn’t lyrically complex, the use of repetitive hooks induces a kind of hypnosis that you can only be snapped out of when the track is signaled to an end with a sample of a little girl saying, “Me in Heaven. Me in Hell.”
Paying homage to great artists of the past, reinforcing his message through lyrical repetition, and developing connections between vastly different genres are all KCSB’s means to an incredibly cohesive and meditative 12 minutes and 16 seconds. While it’s customary to sample other artists in hip-hop, the approach here is extraterrestrial in comparison to most producers. J Dilla’s “Fall in Love” is remixed, the Jackson 5’s “I Wanna Be Where You Are” is covered, and a line from Pimp C’s “Knockin’ Doorz Down” is included, but digging out these references requires some work on the part of the listener. By utilizing genres ranging from trip hop to club remixes to R&B, these artists’ samples and influence are not simply dropped into the mix but are rather blended and reworked into something entirely unique. Whether it’s the changes in vocal quality from clean to peak distorted, or the radically different music styles that are covered, KCSB is constantly pushing contrasts while maintaining the heaven versus hell theme that guides the composition.
With “Me in Heaven. Me in Hell, Pt II” KeithCharles Spacebar has orchestrated yet another collection of music that digs deep from the roots and manages to be transformed into something that has no mirror. Check it out below.