- 22 Sep 21
Absentee is a co-founder of the D12 Inc collective alongside CameronTYP and Mickzart.
Emerging Irish hip-hop act Absentee has shared his brand new single 'Blue Skies', a smooth hip-hop offering that blends mental health and the yearning for connection with R&B tones and a quick flow.
'Blue Skies' deals with themes of self hatred, the lust for love, and how the two can be wickedly linked together. The narrative is told through two emotional performances from myself and Qbanaa.
Absentee speaks from the perspective of being alone and lusting for love to feel whole, whereas Qbanna’s perspective stems from being in a toxic relationship and not feeling truly loved yet still deep down romanticising the relationship, the thread that binds these high impact performances together is the feeling of loneliness. The song is produced by Mickzart and mixed and mastered by CameronTYP, two frequent collaborators of Absentee, and will be officially released on the 24th of September
Absentee takes influence from artists like Joey Badass, Mac Miller, J Cole and MF DOOM. By way of raw honest lyrics, staying true to himself and implementing fresh unique sounds, the rapper's new and more refined music further immerses him into the ever blooming Irish music scene.
Impressive 2021 singles 'Heart Strings' and 'Greener Views' followed on from his noteworthy 2020 debut full length project Love Letters of an Absent Mind and single releases 'No One Above' and 'Love Letterz'.
Coming off his first live performance at The Sound House and a string of well received singles, Absentee is preparing to drop his second project Absent Hives on the 15th of October. Smooth hip-hop jam 'Blue Skies' will be featured on the project as a single.
Speaking to Hot Press, Absentee describes how writing rap verses became a form of therapy for him.
"Mental health was what started me on the path of writing music. It has always been a way for me to express myself and how I feel when I couldn't actually speak about it," Absentee acknowledges.
"I initially started writing lyrics back in 2017 and I wasn't having a good time mentally. I was very much in a low point and couldn't see a way to the surface; not quite rock bottom but I was definitely closer then I would like to be. I would write lyrics constantly and still do of course, but at a time when I really struggled with depression and anxiety amongst other things, writing became a major part of my life."
"The stories I tell are quite personal, so when I do share one it's like I'm getting something off my chest that has been weighing me down," the rapper continues.
"I still feel like I have a lot to say and there is definitely more stories to come. I love that I can get through to some people with my music and my experiences without even knowing them all that well. For me at this point in my life and the relationship I have with writing music I feel very secure in what I'm saying when I release something."
Exploring the subject matter of 'Blue Skies', Absentee delves into the links between love and loneliness.
"Dealing with issues like toxic relationships is a vulnerable subject to be talking about though, more so because usually the people who are talking about them are the ones who got hurt. The same goes for loneliness, when you feel you're alone, it's such a vulnerable state, especially when you need some help."
"Don't get me wrong, I feel everyone should be able to be on their own and be comfortable with themselves, but there is a huge difference in being alone and feeling alone. One is a choice, the other is a mental state, one which I feel is hard to get out of."
Mental health and hip-hop among male artists is an interesting blend, given the unusual prominence of toxic masculinity within the genre.
"I see a lot of male artists being able to be open, which is amazing," Absentee remarks.
"Telling your story is what most people want to hear, and toxic masculinity is a plague that's been around too long. It's created such a burden for men over the years and has caused severe mental distress for many people out there. Rap and hip-hop have been a big source of this over the years unfortunately with homophobic slurs being used alongside other offensive slurs, but people just won't have it anymore. It forces you to suppress anything outside the norm, but the norm is boring. I feel if you want to make a difference you have to be different."
"We are all way more open to talking about mental health these days. It's comforting to know there's other people out there feeling how you do - you know you aren't alone."
Listen to 'Blue Skies' below: