"I Laugh When I'm With Friends But Sad When I'm Alone": 070 Shake
Production: The Kompetition
Album: Glitter EP
070 Shake's fans are split into two categories. Those that first heard her in features on Daytona and Ye in 2018, and liars who claim they knew her before. I will happily admit that I arrived quite late to the party, and her Glitter EP is what made me really pay attention. "I Laugh When I'm With Friends But Sad When I'm Alone" is the EP's intro track, and sets the tone for the rest of the project. Raw, angry, defiant, Shake's distinctive flow is accompanied by sparse, ominous production from The Kompetition throughout the EP, as she discusses her depression and sexuality with varying degrees of pain and nonchalance.
This opening track stands out though. Whilst the target of the rest of the EP is her nameless former lover, "ILWIWFBSWIA" (I'm not gonna spell it out every time) deals with her depression by addressing 'they', society's judging gaze, with Shake wrestling with the beat she sings on, trying to gain autonomy before finally succumbing to its will. She starts with what appears to be studio talk - "Yeah uhh, yeah, hurry up and bounce it before I forget/What I made in my head" - but even this seems to be more soliloquy than speech, and her verse that follows is similarly free in structure. Despite rhyming, her urgent flow disregards the beat, as she moves from heartfelt pleas ("I ask you please stop judging me"), to candid accusations ("fuck this little dyke, it'll be her fault if she ever dies"), to heavy-handed punchlines ("I'm tryna solve these problems, but I was always bad at math"). Eventually she seems to give in as her flow becomes more regular, the final chorus her resigned acceptance, the four-on-the-floor drum pattern signaling society's victory, and the defeat of her autonomy.
Or something like that.