Rapper Joey Aich has been buzzing and making lots of warranted noise over the past few years, spending time between Cleveland – his hometown – and now Columbus. He has a way of pulling an audience in with sharp metaphors before you can find yourself five or six lines deep into one of Aich’s personally heady anecdotes. He typically delivers lines with his mind in the clouds, set on a bright future, and this release is no different. It sees him exploring the inner-workings of his head through the early isolated stages of the past few years.
Is Joey Aich’s latest single release “Through the Madness” an ode to working through the past two years? Or can it also be applied to the extra strenuous stretches of the overall craziness that encompasses our lives on an ordinary basis? He just finished up his first tour since the beginning of the shutdown in early 2020, so it appears as Aich has found his own way to skate through and shake off his own madness. Aich was quoted as saying that a handful of the inspiration for the rap came from the pandemic-era walks he took to ease his mind.
The glitzy, introspective beat that greets us to the song is foreshadowing of the clever bars and stimulating stories. There are playful references in the first verse to Viola Davis in Fences and how much Aich pays for a catfish po-boy ($12). The latter reference comes within the first four bars of “Through the Madness,” which Aich greets us proclaiming, “Got a closet full of tour tees.” Roller skating through the madness is cited in the hook, potentially inspired by seeing the other ways that people worked through their own madness via outdoor exercise. Although Aich’s closet reminded him of the stall that musicians had to put on their touring career, he still needed to work through the craziness.
Joey Aich doesn’t shy away from being vulnerable to his artistic existence but also keeps you in the know with reminders that come out as braggadocio raps. The clearest example of this on the song is when he gives us the narrative: “My brother hit me on the chat/Like your nephews really listening/I was in the basement writing that/Didn’t know I actually could witness it.” It’s a scholarly step into the rapper’s mind while keeping it in the realm of relatable – a lot of artists can relate to the time before their come-up when text messages with close friends and family were like manifestations.
The dreamy “Through the Madness” gets a one-minute hook refrain, where the beat cuts out and then builds back to its peak. There’s always a punch of struggle in Aich’s raps, but his songs are almost always celebratory as well. That is to say, these are definitely not struggle bars. With each release, Aich is getting closer to achieving his desired goals. Which they get loftier by the year. “Through the Madness” is a great step in the rapper’s progression.