Many musicians today shy away from political positions, either for fear of damaging their careers or simply because they see their job as a necessary distraction from the depression and discourse that can lead to serious problems. As 2022 brought war to Ukraine with the Russian invasion of February in February, there was an initial wave of support for Ukraine, with artists contributing to many charity albums and shows as the war raged on and the impact of expression became apparent (particularly for Russians artists) the music scene is once again becoming a bit quiet about this important political topic.
Eclipseye, a Russian-born rapper now based in the UK, appears to have taken the opposite view with his first two singles under the moniker “Hymn of Hypocrisy (Rap Comedy)” and the particularly Russian-centric “Whap Clatter.” After launching his career via a poetry cafe event in 2016, Eclipseye decided early on that he wanted to be an advocate for important world causes, labeling himself amid recent mockery against the term “awake.” ” Where other artists shy away from making political statements, Eclipseye is about speaking out, even if people don’t like it.
With its very opening lines, Eclipseye’s first track “Hymn of Hypocrisy (Rap Comedy)” about the pitfalls of Brexit and the UK government’s (in his opinion) mishandling of COVID shows he has no intention of pulling any punches when it comes to it going to speak his mind. After a news sample about the polarizing nature of the UK’s plan to leave the EU, Eclipseye’s first words are: “Brexit, Brexit – eurikas text it’ you need grass I’ll eat your Brexit for breakfast; Because Tesco doesn’t have anything on the shelves for us.’ It only gets crasser from there and ‘Hymn’ has now become something of a hymn for the anti-Brexit sentiment, and has Eclipseye nearly a hundred thousand streams on Spotify and hundreds of thousands on all Platforms it is listed on since bestowed end of August. Perhaps, career-wise, voicing your opinion isn’t that risky.
In an eerie fortune-telling that artists seem to have a knack for, Eclipseye wrote his second single, Whap Clatter, a few months before Putin’s Russian troops invaded Ukraine’s borders. Just recently released on October 31st with accompanying video “Whap Clatter” directed by Ukraine, full of visceral imagery of the horrors of war. Told through both metaphorical and sometimes graphic literal imagery and spit in English and Russian, while Eclipseye never mentions that the track is set for Russia, it’s certainly heavily implied. That he donates 10% of the proceeds to relief efforts in Ukraine makes it crystal clear.
Stylistically, the audience should know that it’s not just its content that makes Eclipseye unique. While he refers to his style as “Rap Metal” among other things, that might make you think of Limp Bizkit, and that’s most definitely not what we’re talking about here. The underused term “Doom Rap: might be a better description; There’s certainly a Metal element to the way Eclipseye delivers their vocals, with deep growls and a timbre so deep it could be described as sub-bass at certain points. However, the music on both tracks is devoid of shredding guitars and double kicks. A solid, minimal beat carries each track, with “Hymn” having a more traditional hip-hop vibe backed by an eerie ambient sound design. “Whap Clatter” on the other hand sounds more tribal and has a Ravey structure in its intro and breaks, with big gaps in the beat to showcase the gothic style vocal samples. Metal-tinged doom rap? A bit wordy, but that might be a reasonable summary of Eclipseye’s style.
Since the video for “Whap Clatter” is as intense as the track that inspired it, it seems Eclipseye intends to stay on that path of gritty storytelling, haunting music, and bold political statements. With such strong stylistic choices, as well as a strong message, it looks like Eclipseye will serve to entertain its audience and achieve its larger goal of moving people to action and change. Whether you prefer his unique doom/goth/metal/hip-hop style or his political massage, Eclipseye is one to watch as he releases more of his purposeful work.
Hymn of Hypocrisy (Rap Comedy) and Whap Clatter are both available now and available to stream on Spotify. Visit the Eclipseye YouTube channel to watch the Hymn of Hypocrisy video.