The power of the single, “MADDDMAN” (feat. Luke XI), lies in its sonic fearlessness. Pittsburgh-based artist Tim Connelly aka KAHNLI, has experimented with electronic, synth and guitar soundscapes before, but this track feels like uncharted territory for the Hip-Hop artist. No stranger to the music industry – for 14 years, KAHNLI has used his music and gravitation towards Hip-Hop as a form of therapy, allowing him to speak his mind on love, life and the world at view. All the while he has carved out his own, unique lane of alternative-flavored hip hop; at times incorporating acoustic guitars, Atlanta-style 808’s and various electronic synths in the beats.
Three seconds into “MADDDMAN” (feat. Luke XI) and it’s clear that this is the most aggressive and raw we’ve ever heard him. A stunningly impacting project, the track emphasizes KAHNLI’s propensity for letting his voice soar along smoldering crunchy rhythms eager to convey emotion. This is a fantastic project, one that is like a well written sentence: short and sweet. At only one minute and fifty four seconds the track doesn’t waste any time, because it simply cannot afford to.
The overdriven guitars help create a menacing atmosphere for the listener, while the hook introduces a shifting melody to contrast the sonic mayhem: “Let these bridges burn cause I don’t need them at all. And I been running out of fumes tonight. When the world is over, just give me a call. An empty world is my paradise. Let these bridges burn cause I don’t need them at all. And I been running out of fumes tonight. When the world is over, just give me a call. You saw the madman in my eyes.”
This is the cue for KAHNLI to start drop his brazen verses: “I am a fucking madman from Pittsburgh, never had plans. Fingers dirty never had hands, me and the devil on our last dance. I can leave you all behind now, I do not care, manifest I’m a star tonight you’ll find me there.”
“MADDDMAN” (feat. Luke XI) finds KAHNLI doing what he does best, better than before – unleashing a flurry of hard-hitting bars with ferocity, snarling through self-empowering manifestations and caustic claims.
KAHNLI’s switching of his cadence, as he keeps chasing the beat on this track, is impressive. The music is about contrasts, as rock meets punk and rap – where the beauty and the madness are smoothly integrated. “MADDDMAN” (feat. Luke XI) does a fantastic job of accentuating KAHNLI’s lyrical and technical acumen. The rapper’s urgent flow pairs perfectly with the melodic hook, and stylistically atypical beat, creating a mesmerizing journey for the listener.
KAHNLI’s desire to stray away from current music trends and styles is a welcome direction, as the track, as a whole, feels like a fresh, cutting-edge listening experience. Overall, this project is a refreshing experience that differentiates itself from the ubiquitous flood of stylized rap and trap being disseminated through mainstream audiences in the quest for commercial success.
It is exceedingly apparent that KAHNLI and his collaborative crew put a great deal of inventiveness into this concise cut, as you’re going to get sounds that you don’t normally hear in rap nowadays. This is a high-quality alternative rap project from KAHNLI.