It has been a very long time since we’ve heard from FREEDOM OR DEATH. Back in 2010 the duo made some noise with a rap-free cover of Nas’ “If I Ruled The World,” and they pick up right where they left off with “Burn.” Fernandez, one half of the group, says about the song, “We decided to put a track out for no other reason than our sanity… been quiet for over a year.”
Mixing hip-hop with other genres is not a simple task—it’s easy to get swiftly and unfairly lumped in with a handful of mostly corny rap-rock groups, but FREEDOM OR DEATH does it naturally, melodically, and in good taste. Like New Zealand’s The Wild, FOD’s songs balance hip-hop with a slightly dark pop/rock sound, and the two move together as one unit. Instead of sounding like a rock-influenced chorus wedged in between some verses, “Burn” feels streamlined and comfortable with itself, and when that chorus comes in it’s a truly gratifying moment—one of those “oh shit” music moments when you didn’t see something coming but you’re really happy it did.
Trying to mix rap with rock/pop? Take notes.