- During their short existence, Hype Williams revealed very little about themselves. They shunned interviews, sourced grainy samples from YouTube, and focused on absurd spectacle in concert. They used Drake and Sade as fodder for their deranged, UK club influenced-pop. Since the "disassociation" of Hype Williams, the art-pranksters' work has felt like an effort to make sense of what came before. The Redeemer, Dean Blunt's solo LP, traded no-fi inscrutability for lush orchestral arrangements and Bill Withers-esque baritone, but lacked fully realized songs. Meanwhile, Inga Copeland has entered a direct dialogue with club music through collaborations with Scratcha DVA and Gast. On Because I'm Worth It, she drops "Inga" from her moniker, and addresses heartbreak and urban ennui with a sincerity that might surprise fans of Hype Williams.
The record begins with "Faith OG X," a track whose severe high frequency sine waves will weed out any faint-hearted listeners—not unlike "Forgiven", the sludgy opener to Actress's Ghettoville. As it happens, Darren Cunningham is Copeland's sole collaborator on Because I'm Worth It, producing the album's early highlight, "Advice For Young Girls." On this one, Copeland's monotone shines over a busted grime instrumental, blithely encouraging teenage girls to sneak out and reclaim the night, to put on makeup and escape to the lights and music of clubs. It's bizarrely uplifting, enough to make you yearn for the bad decisions of youthful rebellion.
Elsewhere, Copeland presents a dubby take on modern 2-step. Both "Fit 1" and the ominous "Insult 2 Injury" use melodica and delayed drums to create a refracted club groove. "Serious" builds eccentric rhythms that could come from a toy drum. It's reminiscent of Aphex Twin's "Penty Harmonium/Qkthr" in its small moment of melodic bliss.
In Copeland's only known interview, she talks about taking record label money in order to avoid working "some part-time job that we don't care about." Echoing that sentiment, "Diligence" directly quotes Wu-Tang's "C.R.E.A.M." to document a struggle for artistic meaning in a city obsessed with net worth. On "Inga," Copeland gets to the heart of the matter: "How does it feel to be lied to, then again what's a girl to do," she sings with a betrayed sigh over deflated rave synths.
All told, Copeland's exploring two paths here. On one hand, she's ditched the lo-bitrate samples and become an accomplished leftfield bass producer. One the other, she is an incisive and forlorn club diva. Her narrative of heartbreak in the city makes the grim soundscapes of Because I'm Worth It all the more compelling.
01. Faith OG X
02. Advice To Young Girls feat. Actress
03. insult 2 injury
05. Fit 1