Ever since I gave my ear to “Hi Ren” by Ren, he reeled me in…hook, line, and sinker.
I’ve been a fan ever since. I’ve dived into his back catalogue and was blown away by his talent and his talent does not just lie in his vocals which are top notch but in his lyrics as well. Whether he is singing them or rapping them, his words are punches to the system. They are moments of truth, raw emotions, and a visceral look at life.
Ren says to Ren in “Hi Ren” that no one wants to hear another song about being sick, but like I’ve said before, that Ren is so wrong. It’s the sick, the hurt, the pain and the honesty that Ren brings to his craft that connects with his fans. Fans may not know what Ren is going through on a personal level, but his words and music let them know that someone out there battles just like they might be battling.
This year Ren has released 3 tracks so far – “Sick Boi” and “Bittersweet Symphony” and now “Illest of Our Time”…and whew boy, the latest is off the fucking chain.
I don’t even know where to begin and I’m not even sure I have the proper words to do the song justice. After listening to Ren’s flow and rhymes, as a writer, I threw my pen in the air and was like, he wins. I quit writing.
The lyrics for “Illest of Our Time” are nothing short of phenomenal.
There is a line about John Constantine, my favourite comic book character, that I have always loved. It is said Constantine was so cunning and smart that he sold his already damned soul to multiple demons to trick them into curing his cancer. Cunning little devil he was and I feel that Ren is also a cunning little devil himself. He might not have sold his soul to any demons, but he has probably faced his own death or at least been on the doorsteps and while he might not be cured of his own sickness, he’s tricked the gods and the demons by taking what hurts and ails him and creating a medicine that can help and heal.
Music is magic and music can heal and just like Constantine, Ren is the master of his own dark arts and the words he sings or raps are the spells that bind his experiences to all of those who listen. When he says the line ‘blessed with a silver tongue’, this is the goddamn truth, but not only is he blessed with a silver tongue, he has learned how to weaponize it.
Ren slices and dices words with speed and ease. His rhymes flow with grace and elegance and his words carry a certain amount of respectful unpretentious humbleness to them.
As for the music and beats for “Illest of Our Time”, they were also written and performed by Ren and boy are they siiiick. They are slick, infectious, and have a wonderful heavy low tone that is dripping with bass and a beat that makes one rock their shoulders back and forth.
“Illest of Our Time” will hands down be one of the best tracks of 2023.
Listen to “Illest of Our Time” wherever you get music.
Watch “Illest of Our Time” below