Joey Aich – HEAVY (ft. OG VERN)

Back in May, Columbus hip-hop artist Joey Aich released the glitzy, in-your-face “Through the Madness,” commenting on the feelings they had about not being able to tour the past two years. A month and a handful of shows promoting the Columbus indie movie Poser later, Aich is back with another song. This time featuring fellow Poser alumni OG VERN. Even though it still has the humble braggadocio nature of all of Aich’s tracks, we’re going down a jazzier route with “HEAVY.”

HEAVY by Joey Aich

Sonically and structurally, it’s somewhat of a departure from “Through The Madness,” a song that will get you motivated to go outside and seize the day. “HEAVY” is more in the realm of kicking back with your friends. It still has the showy bars that you’re used to hearing in their raps but maintains a calmer aura with the many jazz elements that are being incorporated. It has a very smoked-out vibe, with a smooth saxophone accompaniment and a steady drum beat that really draw you in over those first 30 seconds.

The 30-minute instrumental opening really does set the mood for this track. The smooth beat comes courtesy of Gem City Nate, with mixing and mastering handled by Chris “D1” Dickerson. It’s not an in-your-face beat, but it still floats self-consciously through your ears. In the background you can hear an airy saxophone popping up here and there, like it’s reminding you that it’s present and part of the picture. It truly sets the mood for just sitting back and sinking into your thoughts without having to give much mental effort.

As previously mentioned on this blog, Aich always comes clever with the wordplay and name-drops. One of the more clever ones on “HEAVY” goes: “Evolve from these combustions like I’m Blaziken.” The Generation III Pokémon boast is a deep and sharp one and also aligns with the confidence that Aich always shows for their vision. But, when Aich comes with the lyrical dexterities, they always have a deep, introspective thought to match. One of those on “HEAVY” includes, “This a wonderful life/I come alive with the stars/Why would I run from the night?”

OG VERN’s verse is in the same vein as Aich’s: full of punchy boasts and ruminating thoughts. A simple and common comparison in VERN’s lines likens the two akin to Kobe and Shaq. Although this isn’t the first and surely won’t be the last time these two basketball titans are mentioned on a song, VERN and Aich sure back up the brag. The chemistry between the two verses is magic. They each hit an even flow that feels like it could keep on going for minutes. A line that encapsulates this: “Had to sit back and let this rap shit get fun again.” Mission accomplished.

“HEAVY” also comes accompanied with a music video, shot by Ted Cadillac. In the three-minute film, Aich and Vern are hanging out: dancing, playing pool, and enjoying some drinks in Columbus. This matches well with the laid-back, chill vibes of “HEAVY.” The video mainly consist of images of Aich and Vern relaxing and kicking back with friends at Rehab Tavern, a bar in Franklinton that’s located just west of downtown Columbus. 

Give it a watch, and give “HEAVY” a spin if you’re feeling like you’re on top of your game and ready to celebrate a win.

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