In April, New York rapper/producer ELUCID released “Wake Up Dead Man,” a spoken-word rumination on modern Blackness. New York-based producer Milo recently decided to treat the track to a harrowing reinterpretation.
Milo replaced the bellowy synth and calculated sonic explosions of the original (produced by ELUCID) with an evocative piano that sounds more apt for a video reel of a day in the park then a call to consciousness.
The track retains a similar structural approach to the original, relying on a soundscape that keeps a restrained distance from ELUCID’s impassioned stream-of-consciousness. This approach effectively mirrors the spoken-word vibe of the original “Wake Up Dead Man.” However, instead of accentuating the abrasive nature of the lyrics, Milo’s sullen keys and intermittent vocal sample resonates a brilliant sort of piteousness and resignation.
As ELUCID speaks of “squatting at the final frontier of gentrification,” and notes his “whole hood felt wrath of kane/’caine,” the composition empathizes with his plight. The song feels like a particularly heart-rending portion of a documentary: “no matter how far we’ve come, we’re still here.”
Milo’s remix excels at creating a juxtaposition of gruff, gritty content with a poignant melody.
You can stream “ELUCID – Wake Up Dead Man (Milo Remix)” below.