Many musical artists nowadays shy away from political stances, either for fear of hurting their careers or simply for the fact that they see their jobs as a necessary distraction from the depression and discourse that can come with serious issues. With 2022 bringing war via Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, there was an initial outpouring of support for Ukraine with artist contributing to loads of charity albums and shows, as the war has rolled on and the repercussions of speaking out have made themselves clear (especially for Russian artists), once again, the music community is going a bit quiet on this important political issue.
Eclipseye, a Russian-born rapper now based in the UK, seems to be taking the opposite take with his first two singles under this moniker, “Hymn of Hypocrisy (Rap Comedy)” and the particularly Russia-aimed “Whap Clatter.” Having begun his career in 2016 via a poetry coffee shop event, Eclipseye decided early on that he wanted to be a champion for important world causes, proudly labeling himself a “woke-influencer” even amidst the recent derisive sentiments against the term “woke.” Where other artists shy away from making political statements, Eclipseye is all about speaking up, even if people don’t like it.
With its very first lines, Eclipseye’s first track “Hymn of Hypocrisy (Rap Comedy)” about the pratfalls of Brexit and the UK government’s mishandling (in his opinion) of COVID, shows that he doesn’t plan to pull any punches when it comes to speaking 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; Cause Tesco’s got nothing on the shelves for us.” It only gets more stark from there, and “Hymn” has now become something of an anthem for anti-Brexit sentiment, garnering Eclipseye nearly a hundred thousand streams on Spotify and hundreds of thousands over all the platforms on which it’s listed, all since the end of August. Perhaps it isn’t so risky career-wise to put one’s opinion out there.
In an eerie bit of fortune-telling that artists seem to have a knack for, Eclipseye wrote his sophomore single “Whap Clatter” a few months before Putin’s Russian forces invaded the borders of Ukraine. Released just recently on October 31 with its corresponding Ukrainian-directed and equally heavy-handed video, “Whap Clatter” Full of visceral images of the horrors of war. Told through both metaphorical and sometimes graphic literal imagery and spit in both English and Russian, while Eclipseye never mentions that the track is directed at Russia, it’s certainly heavily implied. The fact that he’s donating 10% of the proceeds towards relief efforts in Ukraine makes it crystal clear.
Stylistically, audiences should go in knowing that it’s not only his content that makes Eclipseye unique. While he’s tagged his style as “rap metal,” amongst other things, that may conjure thoughts of Limp Bizkit, and that’s most certainly not what we’re talking about here. The underused term “doom rap: might be a better descriptor; there’s certainly an element of metal in the way Eclipseye delivers his vocals, with low growls and a timbre so deep it could be called sub bass in some places. The music in both tracks, however, are 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 eerie ambient sound design. “Whap Clatter,” in the meantime, sounds more tribal and has a ravey structure in its intro and breaks, with large gaps in the beat to showcase the gothic-style vocal samples. Metal-tinged doom rap? A bit wordy, but this could be a reasonable summary for Eclipseye’s style.
With the video for “Whap Clatter” being just as intense as the track that inspired it, it would appear that Eclipseye intends to stay on this path of stark 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 his audiences as well as achieving his larger goal of rallying people towards 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.