With one section of verse, the Rhode Island-born singer-songwriter JVKE known for his rapidly growing skills building a bridge between pop and hip-hop, truly found his rhythm.
“Space! Like I’m chillin’ in a race / I’mma rocket like I’m NASA when I’m walkin’ on the stage / Claustrophobic in my head hoping that you’ll never see it on my face / Put together on the outside/On the inside I’mma ’bouta break,” he sings on new single “this is what space feels like.”
The rap-sung lines in the verses of his hit “Golden Hour” were limited melodically, while his flow in this new tune sees him play with both tone and melody in a way he hadn’t explored yet. It is reminiscent of a young Justin Bieber, who blew DJs and R&B/hip-hop artists away with his ability to naturally sit in the pocket during his freestyles and rap-sung material.
“this is what space feels like” focuses on JVKE’s mental state through the rigorous life on the road due to the constant attention and depletion of his emotional and physical states, but feeling like he can’t let up. Like he can’t loosen his grip on this moment: “I’m on a billboard now / Hop down, I don’t really get down / Get down… no, they can’t get me down / I talked to God just now / He told me ‘Boy, go make me proud.’ So I can’t slow down / No I can’t go down.” Even so, he keeps repeating one phrase: “I just need some space.”
The song is yet another iteration of the “this is what ___ feels like” saga. Despite its marketability, “this is what falling in love feels like” is slightly heavy on the Mac Miller influence, while “this is what heartbreak feels like” adeptly shows off JVKE’s ability to viscerally portray the hurt and anguish of his lyrics. “this is what autumn feels like” displayed further improvement, with its opening lines both matching the vibe of the instrumental yet almost immediately shifting in an unexpected direction: “Love is a walk in the park / That’s how it feel at the start / Pretty until it gets dark.” By assigning himself a mood, season, or experience to highlight, JVKE has built himself a musical framework that is, with practice, seemingly foolproof.
The production of this tune is as scatterbrained as his mind is during the moments of heightened sensory overload that he sings about. It is not pop by any means… he boldly took on a purely electronica/hip-hop style project that could have easily crashed and burned, but this area may be something to explore further.