Review: Traxx – Do or Die Alive EP

In Hip Hop by James Wijesinghe

Since stepping away from Wales’ favourite hardcore-cum-grime group Astroid Boys, ex-founding member Traxx has been able to focus on his own life. Do or Die Alive is a welcome return for the rapper, but its sound is a far cry from his previous outings.

Leaving dubstep, punk, jungle and grime in the past, his new EP slows things down for a relaxed, introspective listen. Described as “Bedroom freestyles […] packaged for a headphone listen,” Do or Die Alive is intimate, but outward in its perspective.

The five-track project consists of three songs sandwiched between an intro and an outro. In these two encasing tunes, Traxx asks himself “What’s your life like?”, as well as posing the question to the listener. ‘Quest’ and ‘Love’ are both lyrical and laid-back tracks, driven by soulful samples and tightly written flows. The seasoned rapper plays around with pitches and production, making each song smooth yet surprising.

The project gives us a close impression of where Traxx is at currently, and the sincere image doesn’t come any clearer than in his music video for single ‘Wun’. Up-beat like a sunrise, the track is honest and optimistic. The extended video was shot with his family and friends during a special trip to Traxx’ favourite island, Cyprus, and includes a candid section of raw holiday footage. It’s clear that with Do Or Die Alive, there is no fake front or persona, it’s just Traxx as a person.

He is currently taking a break from social media to do minor things like get married, so the best way to reach him is through this EP. Traxx promises an album one day, but in the meantime, bump Do or Die Alive and start to live yourself.

Click here to stream Do or Die Alive.

@traxxcardiff  / @lopezdupre