It’s been a busy day for George Watsky. The American poet-rapper not only announced the release date of his third album All You Can Do (12th August), but also dropped the first single, and accompanying music video, from that album. The presale for the album was released to iTunes on Tuesday – within ten minutes, it was ranked at 11 on the American iTunes Hip-Hop chart. At the time of writing, it was ninth. The music video to ‘Woah Woah Woah’ was released exclusively to Billboard’s website on Tuesday afternoon, and All You Can Do’s lead track is certainly something special. Drawing on the unique blend of rap verse and anthemic choruses that Watsky is particularly skilled at producing, ‘Woah Woah Woah’ not only lets Watsky’s rap abilities shine – surprisingly comprehensible very fast rapping especially–, but allows the song to slow, and adopt a more serious and haunting tone. I’m a huge fan of anthemic chorus – when used right, it enables a song to become instantaneously unifying (“What do you take us for?”) and memorable. Watsky certainly manages to do both of these, with the video itself providing a nice platform for the unification of the young-adult rebel in all of us. Lyrically, the origins in slam poetry are obvious – contemporary cult references are somewhat risqué without being offensive (especially regarding a certain Ms Miley Cyrus!), as well as grappling with the idea of fame through some interesting religious lexis. The emotion in Watsky’s voice as he speaks is obvious, even when the lyrics don’t quite manage to embed themselves into your mind after just one listen, propelled by the foregrounded focus on voice and simple rhythm.
The single’s video also provides some entertaining watching – not only is it well shot, it is also mesmerising, bringing out the pyromaniac in all of us. The final image of flames as the anthemic questioning of what we’re waiting for fades out definitely keeps ‘Woah Woah Woah’ echoing, even after the video ends. Luckily, fans can hear this in person later on in the year – Watsky also announced that UK tour dates are to be released next week. Expectations will now be high for the 12th of August, and the subsequent tour – and rightly so.