Artist, singer, songwriter, and rapper, SilentKilla, collaborates with engineer JiantKilla, who together represent Killa Aliens Productions. They have released a series of eclectic singles over the years, which cross genre boundaries and music styles. SilentKilla make atmospheric songs with a central idea that he can fill with color, in lieu of conjuring moments, people or places. They don’t develop, so much as orbit around a theme. He doesn’t complicate his songwriting, but he doesn’t stick to the mainstream format either. It’s clear from running through his back catalog that if you’re going to engage with him and listen to his art, you’re going to do so on his terms and accept what he provides. The truth in SilentKilla’s songs matches his preconceived reality.
The brilliance in his latest single, “Favorite Song” comes with how SilentKilla juxtaposes his desires with life’s realities. The through line in the track’s aesthetic, is SilentKilla voice, which reveals wistful affection, when from the opening bars, he declares: “Life is hard, but we are stars / The journey far, catch a shooting star / burn a scar in my palm / You are never gone / in my dreams, I hear your name / with my favorite song.”
His vocals are slightly distorted, typically bathed in reverb for more emotional effect. His voice is at the very front of the mix and he can perceive the tiniest changes in tone or mood to direct the song with his high-pitched wail. Fitting the song’s anti-drug theme into his signature sound meant stripping away the saccharine sentiments of emo-rap and R&B, rendering them darker but more positive, in his own hybrid R&B and Soul compound: “Stay a kid, Stay from sin / Find your worth / deep within / heart is where / it all begins.”
He makes music that is, at times, intentionally uncomfortable, and part of SilentKilla’s appeal is in his brazen, ugly truthfulness: “So familiar, I seen this flick / Living fast, getting rich / Molly fucks with Cody / Now she in the bathroom OD.” “Favorite Song” is at times hopeful and auspicious, but mostly sad and desperate.
“Favorite Song” is at once a high-stakes affair of life and death and also an opus of intentional nothingness: We all want the shine / but can’t find time / so we live life / or spend it getting high…” SilentKilla’s lyrics are alternately cynical, bone-chilling, and empathetic, and he writes with an intimacy and knowledge of someone who has lived the facts from a close-up view.
He is able to put what seems like pure banalities right beside piercing observations. His lines are so vivid they serve as screenwriting prompts, so the listener doesn’t have to know in order to understand. SilentKilla’s tracks are deliberate and poetic, with a raw, genuine delivery, and an eclectic creativity that demands respect, especially in a world of musical clones and wannabes. Of course his originality is not totally unheard of, but it’s a crucial element that makes SilentKilla’s music so memorable.