To call any piece of music a ‘confirmed classic’ takes a certain level of confidence that few have, but it’s an apt description for Only One Vol, 1, a 2019 EP by North Carolina-native rapper Fari. Released last September after a string of highly successful first performances, the record’s strengths lie in its intelligent design.
Despite Fari’s relatively new presence in the music scene, he’s managed to create the perfect balance. Song lyrics are both thoughtful and self-indulgent, equal parts telling the expected story of a young rapper tasting the first stirrings of fame and fortune, and offering up reflective, observant truths, advice, and inspiration. There’s a tension between the two, but it works effortlessly, creating songs that are fun yet deep rather than vapid or entirely too complicated altogether.
The beats behind it all also add to this effect. In many ways, Fari’s Only One Vol, 1 is a record that seeks to bring rap back to its roots, spitting bars and indulging in clever wordplay without all the extras that you might find thrown in today. It just feels old school and nostalgic, from the EP’s cover art to delivery of every line and everything in between and beyond.
However, the record is also intensely, uniquely modern, taking sounds both familiar and exotic, and turning them into something greater than the sum of its parts. Bop-worthy beats, ethereal wind instrument-adjacent noises, off-the-wall synths, moments of electric kick/snare rhythms, and more all combine together in the background and create an eclectic, compelling base for all the actual wordplay that goes over the top.
You’d think it to be distracting or nonsensical within the lyrics’ context, but it only serves to distinguish each track. Like with the actual lyrics themselves, it’s once again using tension to its advantage, making each song into something nostalgia-inducing but utterly new, obscure but approachable, exciting, and never-before-heard. Or, if you’re a more straightforward type, it just makes it more interesting, and who’s going to turn that down? It’s a significant part of the EP’s strengths, intriguing us, pulling us in, and leaving us wanting more.
Unfortunately, giving us what we want might be a little easier said than done, with the world still practically upside down as it is. But there’s still plenty to explore outside of Fari’s debut project. He’s also got a few singles to explore, including “HOV,” “Active,” and his extremely popular drop, “Let’s Not Forget,” which serves to remind us of where we came from and where we’re going. We’ll still be awaiting Fari’s eventual album release with bated breath, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers and all that.
Interested in following his latest releases and news for yourself? Visit his official site at https://www.onlyonefari.com/ today.