The Black House – [Sleepy Hallow]

Although I’m a few days late to the party when it comes to Sleepy Hallow’s most recent EP The Black House, I couldn’t help but show it some love. I’m not overly familiar with the Brooklyn emcee in all honesty, but the few offerings I had heard prior to this definitely stood out to me so I knew I had to tune in. It’s clear that he’s constantly working hard to cement his name into the New York Drill music scene considering he just dropped his debut project Sleepy For President a couple of months ago, so I’m excited that he’s back not too long after with another project. Although this EP is only 5 tracks and lasts just over 11 minutes, he makes sure to pack a punch and deliver some memorable offerings on this project that are going to linger on your mind for so many hours or even days to come, if not longer.

Opening up with “Somebody”, he recruits his friend and frequent collaborator Sheff G to assist him in providing a powerful introductory track that’s going to capture your attention and keep you captivated for the rest of the EP. The beat consists of high-pitched vocal samples combined with additionally elevated synths and extremely spread out, minimal percussive elements that hit at just the right time to provide an uncharacteristic but recognizable Drill rhythm. Sleepy provides some slightly less ruthless and more melodious bars on this track, and Sheff G follows suit in an almost identical manner. In fact, if I wasn’t at all familiar with either of these artists, I might’ve honestly thought they were the same artist continuously rapping.

The only other feature comes in on the next song “Different”, and this artist is another fellow Brooklyn talent known as Jay Gwuapo. This instrumental is also fairly minimal, but there is haste behind most of the elements that turn the tempo up a notch and allows Sleepy to becomes a bit more assertive with his words. I had never knowingly heard Gwuapo’s music at all, but he sounds somewhat reminiscent of fellow New Yorker Lil Tjay, which is a total compliment considering Tjay is one of my favorite talents coming out of the city currently. On the third track “Perc Talkin”, Sleepy takes this one for himself and shows listeners that he doesn’t need other features to truly dominate a tune. The various piano keys provide an extremely telling, emotional path that is brought to a new level through percussive elements that sound as if a drumstick is hitting the rim of the drum rather than the body or head of the instrument. A kick drum seems to come in at the perfect time but exits the scene just as quickly as it enters and remains absent for a notable period. Sleepy comes off as being very passionate about the topics he discusses in this track, getting almost noticeably emotional within his delivery as he moves throughout the song.

On “Don’t Panic 2”, a follow-up to the original song of the same title that was originally featured on Sleepy For President, he taps into Sheff G’s talents one final time as the two artists absolutely tear apart the ominous and menacing production on this record. The final track on the EP is called “Quarantine Boo”, and it gives off a sort of Latin flair that ends the project in a perfect way. He talks about a significant other who seems to mean the world to him, and this track just seems to ride off in the distance, leaving positive vibes that linger in your head for the rest of the day.

All in all, I think Sleepy Hallow is definitely making such a strong case as to why he needs to be respected more in the music industry. He noticed how huge the NYC Drill music wave became thanks to Pop Smoke more than anyone else, most likely, but he puts his own spin on this style that helps separate himself from the rest of the pack. Sleepy also has such an interesting skill of being melodious with his cadences when he wants but also opting for more aggressive, assertive flows when need be, along with other stylistic choices that show off his dexterity. If he keeps up this same sort of work ethic moving forward, it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the next big thing in the Rap world but he’s already made a pretty strong case for himself so he’s undoubtedly an artist you need to keep your eye on. The Black House is a quick yet impactful listen, so make sure you take a moment to fully absorb the new EP from Brooklyn’s very own Sleepy Hollow.