Rapper Mission: Recovery is surely on the path to set himself apart from
his hip-hop peers with his latest album Origin. A scathingly honest look
inside his brain, his deepest fears and insecurities, the rapper brings out a
distinct Indian grunge rap (or rapcore) sound rather than relying on the
standard ‘hard’ or ‘chill’ beats that most rappers are relying on these days.
Like many rap albums that feature skits in between, Mission: Recovery too
features a few dramatic transitions where he’s just talking about his life in a
manner as honest as possible. And then when the music plays, we hear his
other side. Not only is his flow good enough, he has the makings of a metal
singer as to express his rage, he does yell, growl, and sing throatily at times.
His sound can almost be reminiscent to rap-rock artists like Machine Gun
Kelly or even the early discography of Linkin Park (with Mike Shinoda
rapping and the late Chester Bennington growling), and this intentional or
unintentional influence might click with many listeners for a huge part of
Indian post-millennia and Gen-Z grew up with Linkin Park.
A standout track has to be Voices where Mission: Recovery gets up close
and personal with his late friend Sam’s sleep issues, some of which the
rapper himself relates to. Runaway (Fix My Mind) is another standout track
that charters similar dark tones. But Origin’s haunting sounds and subject
matter aren’t dark just for the sake of it. If not the lyrics, at least the
emotions in Mission: Recovery’s highly modulating voice can show that it
all comes from a raw reality.
Hold Steady, the closing track to the album is another song from the album
that’s really heavy on the emotions. The rapper yet again looks back at his
friend Sam who was a musician himself and unfortunately, passed away
from cancer. As the track’s name suggests, the rapper can’t hold steady
after this incident. Along with fast-paced beats, the song features interludes
where the rapper breaks his aggressive flow to tell his listeners about his
friend, hoping that Sam has found his peace.
As mentioned before, what’s commendable is that Mission: Recovery’s
voice hardly ever gets monotonous in any of the tracks. While the
production in each song charters metal and grunge territories, it still doesn’t feel that unique. But it’s the artist’s heavy vocals that elevate each song to new levels. There are many tracks in Origin that are worthy of being played on repeat.
For those who can’t listen to heavy songs all the time, a track called Wish I
Knew sounds like a meditative alternative. Its catchy hook is much softer as
compared to the other aggressively raw songs on the album. In it, Mission:
Recovery seems to sound reflective and calm like the rapper NF or JZAC.
Talking about comparisons, it gets hard to compare Mission: Recovery to
any other Indian rappers. This is for two reasons. First, hip-hop is probably
turning into the most versatile and diverse genre in the Indian independent
music scene right now. Second, barring a few bands, there aren’t many
Indian rapcore artists as memorable as Mission: Recovery right now.
For his next project, he can surely experiment with more sounds and more
genres to flaunt his versatility. But with Origin, he has at least shown how
versatile he can be with hos voice. These days, metal and aggressive rock
hardly seems to be ‘trendy’ enough with artists trying to sound as laidback
and wavey as possible. Origin was a risk at bringing back a somewhat old
sound and the risk does pay off with a memorable set of songs.
And lastly, as a few songs are dedicated to Sam, it’ll be safe to say that his
friend would be really proud of him. In the aforementioned song Hold
Steady, Mission: Recovery says gently that he wishes Sam is shining up
among the stars and looking below, hopefully being proud of what Mission:
Recovery sets to achieve. The rapper’s hopes might just be true. Sam
might be extremely proud…
Verdict: Mission: Recovery seems to emulate old rap-rock legends like
Linkin Park while creating something new and heavily emotional for the
Indian hip-hop scene.