The intersection of rappers and singers is certainly not a new phenomenon – from its origins in sampling voices from soul and funk records, to the present day’s winning formula of roping in a vocalist to transplant a hooky chorus melody to inject emotion into a wordsmith’s bars. The same can be said for rappers, where tokenistic rhymes are seemingly forced into a pop song’s architecture for some sort of credibility. However, when artists from these realms join forces to craft a performance that’s equal parts rap and soul, stereotypes are shattered and the two genres collide to form fresh modes of expression. As part of The Esplanade’s series of free collaborative performances ‘Come Together’, .XS Collective’s dapper rapper, Mean, puts together a one-of-a-kind performance with up-and-coming singer-songwriter, Mars.
Backed by a live band and featuring new and reworked material, Mean 2 Mars presents a three-part performance that sees the pair each performing a solo set, before coming together at the end of the evening to fuse their sounds. With Mean’s thought-provoking yet acid-tongued rhymes and Mars’ solemn vocals and impassioned guitar-work, the meeting of their hip-hop and soul signatures are bound to unravel unique reinterpretations of crowd favourites, while venturing into unchartered territory with new compositions.
Watch Mean’s music video for “Emotions” and Mars’ cover of Bob Marley’s “Is This Love” below:
Mean 2 Mars takes place on February 24 from 7.15pm at Esplanade Outdoor Theatre. Free entry. For more info, visit esplanade.com.