Brooklyn-based rapper, Kahiem Rivera, returns with the next chapter in his discography and highlights a different aspect where he last left listeners. Following suit, his latest installment Be Quiet, Pt. 2, can easily be seen as the rebuttal to Be Quiet, Pt. 1, and acceptance of certain ideals raised through his depression. The melancholy echoes of Rivera’s life and self medication that led to a stagnant routine truly allowed a raw insight of the artist to be heard. While this type of honesty isn’t new, but always valued, Rivera’s magic came through in his delivery and polished conviction of tone and production. Resurfacing it all — noting the case of cabin fever after a nearly fatal bicycle accident left him to writing and recording — Rivera allowed himself to face it all and not seek a resolution, but ultimately create one on Be Quiet, Pt. 2.
The opening track “Stubborn” finds Rivera in a defensive state of mind, playfully sticking to his love of 808s and bleeding into a modern, harsher production revolved around bass. Nodding to people asking him if he only makes music when he’s depressed, looping in his previous EP, Rivera directly answers through his signature witticism before the hook settles, “everything you know is real, everything you know is real.” The track ends with Rivera declaring that he is stuck in his ways as “Stubborn” acts as the transitional song from EP to EP, gearing towards an unearthed truth.
The jSinclair production, “Pareidolia,” begins to pick at the scab. Whereas initially one would think of parediolia, be it seeing funny faces in random objects, Rivera jeers at the meaning and connects the dots on a realistic, and socially conscious outlook, while playing on reactions from substances. Featuring Chazz Giovanni, the two rapper’s tones contradict and yet seemingly compliment one another. Their rapport seeps with the connecting under tone of seeking more, scripting in the hook, “we get high because we don’t fly no more.” Rivera’s penned lines are the strongest on this track, protruding at surroundings while being proud of who is: “And they wonder why we lit up the city / being Black is not pretty, it’s beautiful / but it’s shitty.”
Stated as one of Rivera’s favorite songs to play live, “Cranes” steers the EP towards relationship and sex. “Cranes was the last song I wrote before I had two working legs, and it definitely marked a transition in how I was feeling, and the type of music I was willing to make,” explains Rivera on the track. The track is a sensual haze during Rivera’s recollection of a vivid dream. Flaring hi hats ride a mild trap element, ultimately creating a silky production. Continuing this eloquent feel, “Shackles” comes across as a more tender moment on the EP. Teaming up with Tara Amber once again, the track’s structure wraps around keys and a sentiment of understanding faults with another and pushing through. Amber’s angelic vocals provide the uttermost sense of security, “I know you try to say it, I know you try to save it.”
Ending on a similar note of assertion, “Why Did You Do That?” is an introspective conversation for Rivera, layering whispers beneath verses before leading into the addictive hook. Horns trickle alongside soft keys between each verse as Rivera weighs past and present with a stronger sense of control. Be Quiet, Pt. 2 is a gorgeous follow-up and extension of Rivera’s work, highlighting growth and ownership, with a production that clearly reflects each bar. Rivera doesn’t hold back on identity, love, nor shortcomings and allows a better understanding of the artist.