The trio debut their emotions and reflections
Being forced into seclusion seemed to reshape the world we’re living in. Some people took it as a chance to heal, others got a well-deserved break and some allowed themselves to grow creatively. Now, as everything is beginning to open again, people see these practices come to fruition as people are now showing out the results from their time at home. Indianapolis rap trio 81355 (pronounced “Bless”) were some of the few who pushed themselves to grow during the shutdown. Consisting of artists Sirius Blvck, Oreo Jones and Sedcairn Archives, they put the feelings and reflections they gathered during the pandemic into their debut project, This Time I’ll Be of Use.
The haunting chords of “Capstone” kick off the album. The track is a commentary on those who are constantly grateful for the life they have versus those who use greed to fuel their own life. “Hard 2 Find” provides the catchiest chorus on the album. Sedcairn says his words on the chorus are him, “…speaking from the voice of someone who does not exist in this world anymore.” The track plays on the idea of what it means to be human and the concept of feeling invisible to the outside world. “I’ll be here, though I know that sometimes I can be hard to find.”
“Anointed” follows right after. Led by an airy bass guitar and a quick-paced drum pattern, the rappers go on about politicians and police with lines like, “they’re trying to kill our baby,” in an eerie and trippy choral effect. “The Void” comes as a reflection of the Summer 2020 protests. Between the protests being shown on television and what the rappers saw in person, they go bar for bar about survival and standing up for what you believe in.
“Thumbs Up” follows the topic of chaos but also touches on addiction and mass incarceration. Lines like “fentanyl killing these niggas” remind listeners of the rise in deaths that the drug has caused over recent years, adding to the tragedy that is already happening in the world. “Through a Portal” closes the album. The production gives a spacey vibe that feels as if one is being transported from one dimension to another. Instead of heavy topics as the focus of the track, the trio shows their individuality. Despite these differences, they remain cohesive.
When talking about the project, Oreo Jones said, “81355 means so much. It’s love, pain, anger, desire, happiness, hope. I don’t think this project would have been as significant if we hadn’t all connected together this past year…” It is evident that the trio was able to break through their own individual blockades. This Time I’ll Be of Use displays all the thoughts and feelings many people had during the last year and a half, and the harsh topics create a reflective and eye-opening moment to the difficulties the country has faced and how there are still ongoing issues as we slowly get back to “normal.”