Higher Perception is a double Hip hop single from rising Winston-Salem, North Carolina-native independent artist and producer Sly Mike. It was released on March 18th, 2022, and runs for 4 minutes and 53 seconds. The 2-piece is comprised of “Xotic” and “Vibes”: two tracks that are great by themselves, but certainly compliment each other when juxtaposed.
This gives Higher Perception a seamless feeling, making it feel more like one track than two; it is also hard to only listen to one of the tracks, as either one you play, it flows very well into the other one. Both tracks were produced by Sly Mike himself, hence the “Oh, Sly made that?” producer tag. “Xotic” is a track with a more ethereal sound; the beat has a catchy lead and a crushing bassline, which when combined make for a very deep and dreamlike feeling. It is soothing, yet energizing.
Sly Mike’s bars contrast nicely with the beat, helping to bring the best out of each element of the song. The vocals are consistent and strong, without being monotonous. He is talking about how he lives his life and tries to stay in motion, focused on improving himself, but also trying to stay calm and relaxed. He also talks about his style and how he deals with hate.
“Vibes” carries the same ethereal energy, but it evokes more of a chill feeling, deriving primarily from the melody, which is enthralling, and the bass, which is hard-hitting. The two combined create a dynamic soundscape, leaving ample space for the vocals: they are more focused on his love life, and the interactions that occur between him and the women that he chooses to spend his time with.
Additionally, this track elaborates on his work ethic and briefly discusses his morals and past. Overall, Higher Perception is a concise duo of tracks that both contrast each other and complement each other, collectively bringing an array of unique and fresh sounds to the table, as well as lyrics that both vitalize and energize the listener.
A brief Q&A with Sly Mike:
1. How would you describe the events and emotions that created these tracks?
“[J]ust living life, well mine but there are other people on the grind like me and that raised my perception higher.”
2. What does “higher perception” as a phrase mean to you?
“[T]o understand everyone tryna go up from where they are if they are bout it tho and that lookin back a few years ago id be proud af of myself rn[.]”
3. Explain the line: “I’m not superstitious, I know what it takes to get a buck.
“[L]ike you can’t hope for something without putting effort or at least doing what you can, [I] believe in manifesting but there is a difference between that and being a bum[.]”
4. Is there a certain feeling that you want to spread with these two songs?
“Well exotic just is what it is if you can smoke it you know? its like you feel that to your core if you do but if a person still on that mid or whatever i guess it would sound like a fairytale[.]”
5. How do these tracks make you feel?
“[I[ always make music from a emotional state im in so its fickle, i wont feel the same about these a year or so from now but someone else might, and knowing i will have that impact on someone or even a few people makes me happy[.]”