The music is booming and hard-edged “10-4”until it’s suddenly dulcet and sweeping, matching the fury and then tenderness with which Change performs throughout. The shift in tone doesn’t feel jarring, but instead like it was building up to that the entire time, a testament to how dynamic and complex the production is. It creates an anthemic, banging experience that is just as important as the words rapped.
Hip-hop music, with its lack of filter and abrasive nature, has always been a vehicle by which men who uphold a veneer of toughness and masculine bravado can share their feelings. Part of Change’s appeal to fans is that he takes what is implicit knowledge and makes it explicit. He does this with calculated precision, using unbridled emotion and visceral energy to paint a colorful portrait of his narrative on “10-4”.
Change sounds as if he is on a psychedelic trap journey, travelling through an extensive sonic platter, filled with variegated synths, booming bass, bouncy snares and skittering hi-hats. He strikes the right balance, blending his passionate crooning with lyrics that stick in the mind. Change comes in swinging, jumps between flows and hits his punchlines with class throughout the duration of the song.
It is definitely a track that demands repeated attention, as a cursory listen will not unveil all its hidden gems. It’s instantly accessible, but when Change is on his game he reaps remarkable rewards from the beat. “10-4” feels like the spotlight on him, and for good reason – his lyrics come in the form of mantras. This is a track that embodies the expression, “work smarter, not harder.”
Change winds up exceeding expectations with top-notch rhymes and production, and everything is of course cemented and certified by the official video of “10-4” which premieres on February 14 2020. It is further proof that Change is one of hip-hop’s more interesting and progressive underground emcees right now.