Just a warning, this next track is dark… But it’s also not. ‘Testimony,’ by Rylai details a very real and deep experience with depression. That being said, it approaches the topic in an optimistic way. A way that’s focused on recovery and rediscovering the beauty in life. It’s so deep, and the intricate lyrics have a lot to explore. You just have to give it a listen!
‘Testimony’ pulls you straight into its dreamscape with its vibey opening. The vocal ahh’s build such an atmosphere, and the use of brass instrumentation adds a lot of warmth to the sound. What’s really captivating is the hit. This dreaminess is cut off with some fire rap bars and higher-paced beats. The horns and ahh vocals are tied into different parts of this track, but it does a job at taking control of its energy while including these elements. The pacing and sound have a dynamic presence from start to finish, which makes this track one that’s hard to get bored of.
Lyrically, ‘Testimony’ tackles the struggle and overcoming of depression from Rylai himself. It explores the experiences that he has faced while living with depression. This track serves as such a deep cut. It seems to explore the story of Rylai surviving, having tried to end his own life, or having fallen into the depths of his mental health in some way. This track lyrically captures such real experiences with worry over just getting by. It’s the work of a wordsmith, and the lyrics have so much to explore. But at the end of the day, it’s uplifting. As the final lyrics close things out, “I’m still nowhere bound / But at least I feel better now.” Feeling better is a concept that’s explored prior in the track, following Rylai waking up in a hospital bed. He had to make a commitment and work toward getting better, which isn’t as easy as it sounds. This is what makes the optimistic demeanor about recovery so powerful.
Rylai is a Seoul, Korea-based hip-hop artist who creates music in his own way. This is shown in ‘Testimony,’ by its hip-hop basis with jazzy brass sounds and some experimentation to build atmosphere. The beat has some R&B beauty to it too. ‘Testimony’ is such a deep and real opening track, and it explores a topic that’s important to look into.It has a lot to connect to for those who have struggled with similar experiences with their mental health
Written by Sage Plapp