Montreal’s Kris the $pirit might be previously known as one half of hip hop hustlers the Posterz, but this year has seen the young rapper strike out solo to exorcise his own musical demons with his debut release, Spirit Mode Vol. I. Though the whole collection is a journey into the space between the emotional and the ethereal, the cut “Rack$” might provide the densest example of this balance – an understated, yet anxiety-driven vibe-out only amplified by its crazy video.
Watching “Rack$” is like hitting up a club that could only exist in nightmares, one with no bartenders, only perpetual, hallucinogenic spin-vision and liquor by the bottle, with plenty of (spoiler alert) Ouija board and demonic possessions only helping Kris further nail down the hellish atmosphere. The devilish undertones are completely Kris’ own doing, a choice meant to highlight inner struggles as a battle for one’s soul: “I get possessed, and I try to get rid of demons inside of me.”
The haziness of the visuals lend themselves to not only the tone of the song – “Rack$ is real vibes out,” the rapper admits – but also stylistically mirror Kris’ rapping, a laid-back rasp so lowkey that it’s easy for the scale and variety of influences he has at play to go unnoticed, influences which span sharp, youthful SoundCloud rap, the trap-blues of 56 Nights-era Future, and a musical coda delivered with an intensity rarely seen outside of Denzel Curry. Despite these musical touchstones, Kris the $pirit manages to wrap them all up in an ominous energy that’s entirely his own.
Check out Kris the $pirit’s “Rack$” video below, and keep an eye out for Spirit Mode Vol. II, dropping later this year.