The Bronx-born, Southern-raised rapper 645AR’s natural voice is a baritone, but he performs in a cartoonish high-pitched tone he refers to as “the squeak.” It is one of the most polarizing sounds I’ve ever heard, like if Valee inhaled helium or Elmo started breathing murderous threats over 808 bass bombs. It seems like it must be a joke, but 645AR swears is meant to be taken seriously. Tracks like “4 Da Trap” and “Bible & A K” represent some of the most avant-garde trap music I’ve ever heard. They make RMR’s Rascal Flatts hijinks seem pedestrian by comparison.
645AR’s shtick is exponentially weirder and wilder when accompanied by batshit visuals like the ones he just dropped for “Yoga.” The song itself is a contagiously giddy parade of taunts like “You ain’t gang you get that TAX/ Play with squad you gon get whacked” delivered in pinched, exaggerated falsetto over a throbbing amelodic beat. As a strictly audio endeavor it’s undeniably unique, but just wait until you hear it in the context of the BRTHR-directed music video.
BRTHR, the team of Alex Lee and Kyle Wightman, have been making hallucinatory videos for the likes of Travis Scott and the Weeknd for years. Nothing they’ve done has come close to the audacity of “Yoga,” a video-game-inspired, coronavirus-themed, alternately paranoid and swagged-out psychedelic alien invasion action movie that plays out in just over two minutes. Words truly cannot do justice to either the sight or the sound of it, so just watch.
Seriously, what did we just watch?