Back in May 2014, Hopsin was in the middle of his Knock Madness tour. At that point, he was promoting his album of the same name; Hopsin visited Toronto, bringing his sinister style to the “6ix” for the first time. I went to that concert. I loved every second of it. After the tour, Hop took sometime off. But now he’s back. And so is Three Tracks.
FV Til I die– Hopsin
Pound Syndrome, Hopsin’s 2015 album, is still a new addition to my playlist, but the song “FV Til I Die” feels right at home with his hard-hitting repertoire. It’s a track that describes Hopsin’s come-up as a small-time Panorama City rapper, detailing the steps taken towards the formation of Funk Volume, Hop’s record label. It’s a great track with tons of replay value; when I first got it I played it three times in a row. That being said, it’s not perfect.
It starts with what is arguably Hopsin’s weakest skill as a songwriter; choruses. The energy in the track is fantastic; each verse is delivered with an unlatched anger; each sentence is laced with a mixture of frustration, pride, and malice, as he chronicles the rise of Funk Volume after years of work. This tone is found throughout the majority of the song, but is lost at crucial points, most notably the chorus. His tone is confident, but not in a triumphant way like the rest of the song would lead the audience to expect. It’s restrained, cocky and calm. The shift is almost jarring, with the pace of the track slowing and the beat subduing when the chorus begins.
That’s the extent of the “bad” in the song. The segway back into each verse is great, with the beat returning hard after Hopsin’s last vocal note of the chorus. The lyricism is trademark Hop: not overly complex, but crafted with care: “Reppin’ that eight one eight was just like walking that tight rope. We seen rappers come and go and got lost in the cycle, so we had to f***in make sure we left all of your minds blown.”
The message Hop delivers in this section is quite easy to understand, but the clever simile at the beginning brings it a peg above the average rapper. SwizZz, a fellow FV member, is back and (surprisingly) better than ever. His delivery is lot less obnoxious than it used to be, but he still keeps the hyper-energy that made him fun to listen to.
FV til I Die is the result of the dedication Hopsin has put into his craft. After multiple Albums that didn’t quite catch on Funk Volume has finally cemented itself into the hip hop subconscious, and looks to be a real contender to the main stream in the coming years.