Essentials: PatricKxxLee drops surprise compilation, ‘Dead By Dawn, The Old Me Is Gone’

A collection of songs recorded before his 'Diary of An Arsonist' album debut

Since his debut with Dairy of An Arsonist, PatricKxxLee’s fans have never gone too long without getting a material release. Warning EP, his collaboration with BABYFACEDEAN and Saint Klaus followed the album, then singles  “Run” and “Dante’s Awakening” followed. At this point, it’s safe to say only a few will rival Patrickxxlee’s work ethic because It’s just a few weeks into the new year, and the rapper is already treating fans to a new release all the way from Hong Kong, where he is working on a new album. According to Patrickxxlee, Dead By Dawn The Old Me Is Gone  is “a compilation of tracks that you need to Hear but that don’t belong anywhere specific at this Point”.

The emotive take on trap music heard on Dead By Dawn The Old Me Is Gone might not be as new as advertised. Our best guess is that these songs were written and recorded before his album debut, which makes sense since PatricKxxLee clarifies that it’s not an album or an EP.

The opening track, “See You In Hell” is a sombre trap confessional with staggering revelations that make you feel a tinge of guilt for listening to it. Over the synth-heavy beat, he admits being a “Pessimistic Piece of Shit” and how he’ll rather be alone because his insecurities and anxieties get in the way of his relationship. On “Black Sheep”, PatricKxxLee creates a sound tinged with rock drums, and guitars harmonies. His vocals, however, stay true to hip-hop with rap bars celebrating his growth from the old him. The showy attitude continues on “Transylvania”, a supercharged cut dedicated to PatricKxxLee’s carefree hedonistic lifestyle. 

It’s easy to dismiss songs that go a bit overboard on synths and auto-tune, but if we did we’ll miss all the dims in Kanye’s Yeezus. Not to mention the vivid description of romance on “Soichiro”, the second track on PatricKxxLee’s Dead By Dawn The Old Me Is Gone. The 7th track, “8 – Bit” has a whopping 5-minute playtime that could discourage even his biggest fan placed so late into the 9-track offering. Luckily, PatricKxxLee brings an explosive delivery with lyrics pitched somewhere between a grad school thesis and a decathlon; “I Came To Change The Code And Bend The Rules/ I Swear They’re Trying To Keep Us Slaving/ They’re Trying To Take Everything We Make”. Exploring questions about the economy and financial systems is a heroic feat that could easily feel fatiguing if the composition wasn’t so upbeat and empowering.

“Radical Melanin” is a goth-flavoured electro-waltz sprinkled with complex emotions that are hardly unique to PatricKxxLee. Singing “All We Want To Do Is Sin/ I’m Just Trying To Take It All”, we get a hint at the things that drive PatricKxxLee as he goes on to lists things ranging from “Vanity” to “Insanity”. Dead By Dawn The Old Me Is Gone closes on an uplifting note with the last track, “King of All Or Nothing”. Though the beat is sombre with big arrangements that fit PatricKxxLee’s underlying emo aesthetic, his vocals are confident and packed with metaphors alluding to his godlike status.

While we wait on the promised album he’s reportedly recording in Hong Kong, you can stream Dead By Dawn The Old Me Is Gone below.

Featured Image Credits: Instagram/patrickxxlee
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You are meeting Debola at a strange time in his life. He wandered into a dream and lost his way back. Tweet at him @debola_abimbolu

ICYMI: Check out all the essentials from PatricKxxLee’s debut album, ‘Diary of An Arsonist’