Gamers Can Be Cool With The Right Backbeat | EXP Share – exociety (feat. Rav, Kill Bill: The Rapper, Airospace and Scuare)


Norene Bassin, Editorial Assistant

Live in their Discord server late last month, Internet rap collective exociety has announced their Out of the Woods tour set to begin in March of 2022. All four artists put out new albums this year: Scuare released Phenomenal in March; Airospace released AZALEA in July; Rav released SCHOOL OF ERROR in September; and Kill Bill: The Rapper released Snowglobe Theory in November. I’ll be venturing into Ann Arbor on April 19 to see the boys live, and this single has me beyond hyped.

For those who aren’t in the know, EXP share, or experience points share, is a mechanism in video games where experience points gained by one character in a party are distributed to other members of the party. Similarly, all four rappers share their energy with the others to make this track awesome.

The overall message of “EXP Share” is that all of exociety overcame adversity to be where they are today. These guys want their audience to adapt to their environment to overcome their issues, rather than wishing for rescue. The chorus lyric “It is what it is, not what it should be,” tells us that these rappers have been hardened by their upbringing.

The lyric that follows contradicts this, saying “Fuck what it is, man I’m chasing what it could be.” They’re aware that the world is the way it is and it can be changed, but they acknowledge that the change isn’t organic. Change is facilitated by a desire to be better.

However, this sentiment doesn’t mean they started off hardened. Like many of us, it takes a while for one to realize that internal change needs to happen to facilitate environmental change. Scuare’s verse dwells on how his escapist fantasies helped him cope, but ultimately hard work brought him success:

I’m not living a real life, I’ve just been on vacation /

Spinning ’round like it’s real nice, I don’t test shit, but patience /

I got no legs to stand, I got enough sense to panic /

I got hope and then abandon all, that’s close enough to vanish /

I got both a pile o’ gold and enough shit to fill the planet /

With the fruit of my labors, ’til it’s fresh enough to can it, yuh”

Kill Bill and Airospace’s verses focus more on the adversity they faced, where Rav and Scuare’s verses focus on how they coped and overcame it. 

Outside of the title, video game references are sprinkled throughout the track. Airospace’s verse has the most that I noticed, like “I stay hot, my head’s volcanic ash up the blunt / Put my Charizard in a pack and my dad in a trunk,” and “Your girl suck me and fuck me hard like we playing locally.” Exociety isn’t new to the concept, with Kill Bill’s 2015 hit “RPG” comparing life to a role-playing game.

While one would expect a song with such nerd-centric references to sound more like The Living Tombstone or Starbomb, “EXP Share” is a refreshing sound to hear among the seas of 8-bit blips and beeps. The looping drum beat and piano riff are the perfect track to accompany these lyrics. If you’re really struggling this finals season, let this track remind you that while it may suck now, your hard work will reward you later.