Conceptz – Splash


The single “Splash” from Orange County, New York based hip hop acts Conceptz is an impressive new achievement for the brothers Short Fuze and Highrowglyphfix. They work alongside Grammy winning Benny Blanco with this song and it results in one of the most infectious, fun hip hop tracks emerging from either the mainstream or indie scene in recent memory. The subject matter is rather traditional as it celebrates sex with just enough innuendo to communicate its message and never lapses into the sort of off-putting crudity often alienating wider listening markets. However, it does get across its bawdy spirit with a smooth, surprisingly soulful musical arrangement that the vocals dance over with supreme confidence.

It’s likewise accompanied by an entertaining video, cut in a restless but never hyperactive way, filled with a bevy of beautiful women and a nice sense of humor. Some “straighter” listeners might be a little offended, initially, by the setup for the video’s premise as it initially comes off like the musicians are visiting a “home of ill repute” and picking women to service them, but Conceptz turns that on its head quick and viewers soon realize it’s a casting call of sorts for the video itself. I found it funny how they play with the viewers expectations just a little without ever calling too much attention to that particular moment. Conceptz embodies the song so well through visuals and body language that you can only assume they are a compelling live act capable of bringing their material to vivid life. They are gifted performers with immense skill for physically personifying the sway and movement of the track.

There’s a lot of swing in this tune. The rhythmic hook, particularly around the chorus, nets the listener’s attention early on and never relinquishes it – even casual listeners will be impressed with the infectious qualities of their performance and longtime hip hop fans will relish the countless deft turns, rhythmic flourishes in the vocals, and strong construction that makes “Splash” one of the genre’s more appealing tunes released in quite some time. The chorus, especially, sends the song to another level and Conceptz threads some nicely handled nuance into the song’s central payoff. Everything is spaced rather well and the four minutes and change running time gives them ample space to develop the song’s lyrical and musical ideas without ever rushing the track.

Conceptz first formed in 2011 and the intervening seven years has seen the East Coast duo establish themselves as one of the indie hip hop scene’s more creative outfits, but it’s clear they’ve only scratched the surface of their immense individual and collective talent. Their work alongside Benny Blanco on this new single is, arguably, their finest recording yet and they marry it with a superb video that captures the duo’s charisma and musical spirit while emphasizing their strong and evident sense of identity. “Splash” will please anyone who loves hip hop and newcomers with an open mind will definitely be hooked in by this duo as well.


Troy Johnson

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