Artists Review - Beam
Kingston Born rapper Tyshane Thompson, better known as Beam, is one of the most unique artists who have emerged to the surface recently. Here is AriLev's listening experience and opinion of Beam.
By AriLev Tenenbaum
Beam “95” - Album Cover
I first heard about the producer/rapper formerly known as Tyshane and currently as Beam, from my brother. We were hanging out one evening watching YouTube videos on the couch and he kept on humming this peculiar tune in a low baritone – monotonic yet interestingly musical at the same time. I asked him what he was singing – he looked me dead in the eye and said “dude, you have GOT to hear this guy”. I was immediately turned into a fan.
At first listen, one can detect an atmospheric yet simple structure to Beam’s music, on each track performing a delicate and diverse balancing act between the dark, the light, the complex and the straight forward. As I mentioned above, Beam’s music is a sonic feat of symmetry between the monotonic and the musical.
In addition, Beam’s music is extremely diverse – where one track may encompass a dark, dancehall-esque sort of atmosphere, another may take a more modern, “trap” oriented route. That being said, albeit the above mentioned musical diversity, most of Beam’s tracks still manage to maintain a common denominator in terms of feel and vibe.
For example, tracks such as “Cactus” and “Unda Armor” portray the more contemporary (perhaps even futuristic) rap/R&B aspect to Beam’s music, whereas tracks such as “95” make one think that in the event that Cypress Hill and Travis Scott chose to make a trap song together – this would be the result. Furthermore, tracks like “2 x 2”, although still structured by Beam’s go-to 808 based beat-making, are more Reggae and Dancehall influenced, and pay homage to the artist’s Caribbean roots. And yet still, one can clearly hear that all of the above stem from the same musical creator and carry those same simple yet unique structures and dark undertones, regardless of the constant crossover between more contemporary and conventional rap flows and vocals more reminiscent of certain Reggae and R&B subgenres.
Beam produces his own music as well, in addition to executing the wide range of vocals portrayed on his tracks. He manages to complement each individual element that makes up his music with the other existing elements in a kind of synchronicity that encourages one to think that the music and vocals were written in a single prism, as a singular and tangent thought. Beam’s production and beat making is simple yet immaculately executed in relation to their marriage with the vibe and feel of the bars he records on top of them.
It should also be noted that Beam, in my opinion, possesses an amazing vocal tone as well as range and ability. The first time I heard “2 x 2” the dissonance between the highs and lows he manages to achieve on the track left me to re-listen to it several times just in order to fully grasp the artist’s multi-faceted vocal range on this track alone.
In summary, Beam is the future and I am a fan, and I highly recommend you become one too before the bandwagon takes off.