Songs are meant to speak to our souls and experiences. Different stories, different storytellers. But what is clear is that when the message rings true, people understand. Garnet’s new single “Success”, featuring Jynxx Bravo, takes that story and makes amplifies it. From the very first lines, Garnet is balancing our brutal honesty with impenetrable vulnerability, something that is not too common in mainstream hip-hop.
Fusing contemporary R&B and emo rap, this song’s elements weave in and out of each other to create a tapestry of emotion, grit, and dedication. Whitney Houston’s vocals are tucked in the background, peaking out to compliment the vocals in the verse, while the beat itself is what allows the song to move forward.
Visually, the video is the perfect companion to the song, magnifying the story that it’s telling. The dark color grading compliments the night setting of the video. It reflects the grit and honesty that the music sets out to create. From the moments of self-reflection on the train at the beginning of the music video to the performance aspect, looking right at the camera, there is a measure of confidence and control that comes from walking a gauntlet.
Whether they will admit it or not, there isn’t a single musician who doesn’t dream of some modicum of success. Garnet not only has no problem talking about his journey to success but also talks about the unrelenting fear that gnaws at him – and anyone – during this journey. Of course, there are all the challenges that come from being in the music industry, but also additional challenges of being young with such big dreams.
Garnet’s lyrics “they said focus ahead but looking at you sideways” captures an all-too-real scenario where peers, friends, and maybe even family are supporting with empty, hollow words while they actually want to see failure. For any artist, this is unfortunately common and a difficult situation to not only navigate but to talk about. Once again Garnet throws himself out there as an example. It is difficult, but what’s more important: the acceptance of your peers or the achievement of your goals?
For Garnet, the answer is clear and so is the motivation behind his path and his dreams. “Momma one day I’m going to be on the front page” – a promise to never give up, to be a strong, capable man, to make everyone around him proud. Garnet shares with us that his early upbringing left him no room to be a kid. His father was incarcerated, forcing Garnet to grow up fast to take care of his family. There was no time to play because people needed him. And this was the spark that he needed.
Knowing all this, it’s no surprise or shock to see such fervor and drive from Garnet. He’s doing it his way and it’s evident that he has learned not to bend under the pressure of the industry. One thing you’ll quickly notice is that there is no objectification of women in this video; the other is that he talks of fame by praising himself, not necessarily bringing down others. To me, that spells out self-confidence and self-awareness. And there is no greater power than an artist who knows his worth through his own story.
If you’re a fan of Hip-hop and emo rap, this track will speak to you. However, it’s the honesty in the lyrics that will hook you forever.