"Here and Now" by JJ Bygrave and BrudezReview
Local rap-master Brudez is no stranger to this magazine (check out too his "Cold Strange World" on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Six'), but his long term collaborator Justin Bygrave, despite being one of my all-time favourite local bass players and the founder of Beat Rebel Records, has been hidden in the shadows (relatively speaking) for some years now: perhaps mainly spotted by those switched n enough to check out producer credits (thank you).
Now however we are treated to "Here and Now" credited to JJ Bygrave and Brudez on, you guessed it, Beat Rebel Records.
To what (if any) this song has any connection with the recent Beatles song is debateable: I'm comfortable with its being coincidence since Justin & Clint seem so tightly focused on what they are doing here, I think they'd have come up with it regardless of external events.
There are several things I love about "Here and Now" and I'll run through them for you.
Firstly, how many songs start with philosophical ideas? Too few & certainly not too many rap ones. Justin tells me that it is "..about the way we are all rushing around so much that we forget to just pause look at the beauty around us and take in the moment . We forget to live in the here and now."
This is amplified by the Eckhart Tolle quotation which they've embedded in the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDUnJHTW4dQ) "Time isn't precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is."
The next joy is the groove: "liquid drum and bass with an older sound harking back to Roni Size vibes" as its composer describes it, you could not wish for a finer connection between a track's words and arrangement: simply perfect and it will carry you with it. There are also characteristically tasteful keyboards by Andy Haring.
I've often (or at least when reviewing his work) praised Brudez for completely avoiding rap delivery cliches (and another one who achieves that is Dan Bygrave who guests on the track (he provides the vocal hook): I'm guessing that influence is at play here) and once again the vocals suit the song rather than being forced into it in order to ascribe to some unyielding convention.
He is always a contemplative rapper (no bragging amongst his work), almost (and I hope he won't mind my saying this), something of a worrier about life, so the lyrics fit his style better than anyone else you can imagine.
I think this is a gem of a track & appearing out of nowhere into my awareness only an hour or so ago, it was most welcome. These are musicians of great integrity: they don't see limelight and seem happiest operating in the musical underground: which is a shame given both the esteem in which I hold them but also because their music is broadly accessible.
I've given you the YouTube link and you can download/stream "Here and Now" on the usual platforms: I'm sure you'll both love it & appreciate its message.