A Laugh in the Face of Naysayers | “HAHAH” by Bladee

A Laugh in the Face of Naysayers | “HAHAH” by Bladee

Matt Cruz, Media Librarian

Bladee is a Swedish rapper and artist who has been making waves for the past decade as a member of Drain Gang and associate of Yung Lean. The meme rapper turned superstar has been getting long overdue praise for his poignant prediction of texture that 2020s pop has just explored. Both on a victory lap and marathon to the top, Bladee has been the zeitgeist of online rap for the past 10 years — just now are the eyes of the pop scene turned increasingly in his direction.

After last year’s collaboration with Ecco2k, Crest, was released to critical acclaim, Bladee provided his solo follow up, Spiderr, to an eagerly awaiting and vicarious fanbase. The songs on Spiderr are emblematic of Bladee’s recent progression, retaining the metallic, post-virtual edge found on projects like Eversince, Icedancer and Crest.

I am happy to report that Bladee has maintained the very consistency which enabled his popularity, with Spiderr showcasing an even larger repertoire of experimental textures than his previous works, which is for the better. 

Distilling the past, present and future of Bladee, Spiderr is a genuine feat in Bladee’s progression, and “HAHAH” distills everything that’s enabled his success thus far into a mere, yet sublime two minutes. 

Crystallized synths suspend themselves over a tumbling snare. Maniacally, Bladee refrains over and over: 

I’m crazy, I’m crazy, I’m crazy, I’m crazy, I’m crazy, I’m crazy.” 

With each repetition, the atmosphere is completely transformed into a digital circus. This sense of mania is self-referenced in the instrumental, eventually exploding from a minimalist palette into a richer arrangement. Güiro streaks and background vocalizations at the snap of Bladee’s fingers become caked in his trademark permafrost. 

While a part of an uncontrollable spectacle, Bladee is well aware of his role as the ringmaster. In a momentary pause, the show stops for a few seconds and he steps into the spotlight before being effortlessly contorted in the driver’s seat with a relaxed, yet sharpened delivery. 

Baby, can’t you see I’m messed up? /

D-30 boys really next up.

A kiss sound effect supplants the güiro, drawing attention to its delicate position in the instrumental’s upper range. 

“In this life, I’m an extra /

King Nothing, I’m not special /

Sweep, sweep, with the Pradas on my feet /

Three, three, three, free, free from disease /

Three threes, founding fathers underneath /

Pretty please, baby don’t bother me.”

Lagging with rhythmic perfection, the digital wonderland Bladee creates is as physical as ever. The attention to detail shows Whitearmor’s stunning and vibrant production, along with Bladee’s ability to use the instrumental as a second performer. Bladee allows the instrumental to coexist as an addition to his performance, rather than as a backdrop discarded by the subject. It is simply a feat of magic commonplace, which is to be expected from a musician of Bladee’s caliber.  

“I’m too deep in the skies /

Got a mask on my mask, and expense it with my life /

We look down ’cause we stood upon a height /

We just barely got away, but it was fine.”

Bladee swaps his flow to be much more jagged, slowly riding the sporadic beat while decelerating to a cruise in a crystal Lamborghini. The rush of blood to the head is ever more present. Despite the decay of energy throughout, Bladee proves that matter cannot be created nor destroyed.

Man, I’m fucked up in this state, and I’m trying not to let them see my face /

And we one plus,  from the eight /

Any one of us would be burnt out at this rate /

But I’m doing great.

Synths glimmer and shine off each word, with Bladee having effortlessly used four flows across the past two minutes, before dissolving into an alt-R&B hook. A master of his own reality, Bladee acknowledges the dynamic performance by only focusing on the captivation provided to his audience.

I’m doing great /

I’m doing great /

I’m doing great /

I’m doing great.

Bladee’s laughter fades out the track, slowly trembling the instrumental as it dissipates with each breathless chuckle. Laughter, an expression of ecstasy, is the perfect way to bookmark its end. Even while having fun, Bladee proves that he’s not only miles ahead of his competition, but if anything, they’re the joke he’s laughing at.