“Don’t Give A Damn” features everything you would want from an Alternative-Grunge song.
Alternative Singer/Songwriter Haiqeem (Al Hakeem Muhammad II) was born in Oklahoma City, OK in 1992. It wasn’t until his family moved to Dallas and he entered a singing contest at the age of eleven where his performing talents where discovered by a school teacher that fueled his obsession with performance, lyric, and song.
His debut effort was Nothing Sweeter (2010); a cathartic experimental Alternative Electro-Noise Pop 14-track that made tiny waves on small independent charts throughout the internet. After fruitlessly scouring the Dallas area for songwriters that matched his musical criterion, Haiqeem decided to settle into an autobiographical solo career.
“Nothing Sweeter” was followed by 2011’s “Socialite” that was immediately shelved by the Haku Records label due to poor planning and drastically lower sales then the former. Still holding an interest in noise music Haiqeem presented 2013’s “Finally Over You” a blundering gut wrenching effort that took pop music and broke all rules of modern music theory of which Jamsphere Magazine commented “Not for the melody seeking ear” and a “Genre of its own”; of which the record was a flop.
Haku Records. facing a larger merger paved the path for Haiqeem to meet M. Yates a Juno Nominated Producer from Vancouver, British Columbia who reassessed Haiqeem’s songwriting ability and channeled his talents into a Hard-Rock, Post-Grunge sound for Haiqeem’s fourth coming album. The first single “Don’t Give A Damn” an angry Alternative Rock anthem premieres 02.02.2015.
When critics or music fans talk about an artist ‘maturing’, ‘finding his niche’, or ‘moving to the next level’, Haiqeem’s single, “Don’t Give A Damn”, is the perfect example of what they are trying to say. I admit, the sound of this is very much in tune with the 90’s alternative rock, but in my opinion, there’s just a ton of songwriting skills and sounds in this track that really sets it apart from everything else that came out at the time.
“Don’t Give A Damn”, features everything you would want from an Alternative-Grunge song: a roaring chorus, crunching guitar, and superb lyrics. Moreover though, we all know that it’s the vocals which ultimately fills the sound-stocking in this genre; an angst-filled voice able to deliver soaring, catchy anthems. Remember the legends of this genre? Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Scott Weiland, Chris Cornell and the list could go on. Now remember Haiqeem’s “bizarre vocal arrangements, swathing in dis-harmonic screams, moans, whispers, and croons,” on his previous album? Well forget it!
Surprise surprise, Haiqeem with the help of Producer M. Yates has managed to tear the raw singing talent out of his vocal apparatus. Haiqeem impresses as he goes from growling and menacing to a kind of edgy pop. His performance is magical, mysterious, dark, angry, powerful, psychedelic and hypnotizing; many lights years away from the almost ‘detuned’ singing style he used prior to this single.
Haiqeem’s transition from noise-rock to his new alternative-grunge style can only be admired as an unprecedented artistic metamorphosis that will undeniably benefit his career. Inside a volatile music market built on fickle trends, this may not guarantee record sales, but it most certainly will gather him admiration and a vast amount of critical acclaim.