Arts Reviews

Album Review: Savage Ga$p – the long halloween

Gemma Cockrell

American rapper Gaspere Magaddino, known professionally as Savage Ga$p, began his career on Soundcloud, as many rappers do. He gained increased notoriety when his song pumpkins scream in the dead of night blew up suddenly on TikTok. The song was a collaboration with close friends rapper Shinigami and producer 93FEETOFSMOKE, and currently sits at 40 million streams on Spotify.

Since then, his fanbase grew exponentially, and fans eagerly anticipated the release of his debut album. It has finally arrived, in the form of The Long Halloween, and it couldn’t have been released at a more fitting time. With Halloween round the corner, October was always going to be a huge month for Gaspere. Halloween is an essential part of his brand and image – he has multiple songs with references to the seasonal holiday, as well as tattoos to fit this aesthetic. His hands are covered in skeleton tattoos, and his chest bares the word ‘October’, which can be seen on the album cover.

There is no doubt that long-time fans will be shocked at the quality of this album – no one has ever heard Gaspere spit bars quite like this. He appears to have taken his music to a whole new level, in terms of quality, lyrical content, vocals and production. However, he has managed to achieve this whilst remaining loyal to his roots. Collaborating with his friends has always been a vital part of his music, and this remains true on this album. Collaborations include lilbootycall, marvy ayy, David Shawty, polearm, Freddie Dredd, glaive, and Ellise, as well as producers 93FEETOFSMOKE, fromtheheart and Colliding with Mars.

He is still very much in touch with the material he wrote at the start of his career

Another sign that he has remained true to his roots is the fact that the album features the track moshi moshi 2, the sequel to his 2018 fan-favourite track moshi moshi. moshi moshi 2 looks back to the time period when he wrote the original track, showing he is still very much in touch with the material he wrote at the start of his career. After the success of moshi moshi within his fanbase, moshi moshi 2 is sure to become another fan-favourite. The album also features a remix of his break-out track, pumpkins scream in the dead of night, featuring Freddie Dredd rather than Shinigami who appeared on the original version. The remix gives the song a new lease of life, and the fact that the remix already has 40 million streams on Spotify – an equal amount to the original version – proves that the song still has potential and is still much loved amongst fans.

References to anime culture, most notably Pokémon, are a key element of Gaspere’s music. This is most prominent on opening track of the album, shooting star, mt silver – with Mt Silver being a mountain in the Johto region of the Pokémon world. References are also scattered throughout the lyrical content of the song – mentions of the well-known Pokémon Togepi, Raichu, Pikachu and Cyndaquil, as well as the nostalgic gaming consoles Nintendo 64 and Gameboy. Gaspere’s love for Pokémon can also be seen all over his Instagram feed, as posts to his Instagram account frequently feature his vast collection of Pokémon plush toys.

Gaspere’s image is therefore unique in the rap scene, and has a high appeal factor to a generation who are obsessed with Y2K nostalgia – a generation of TikTok and ‘e-girl’ culture. But it is not just his references to nostalgic pop-culture that make his music appealing, because his lyrics also feature an impressive amount of emotional depth. On i’m drunk and i miss you too, he sings ‘I think I’m in love with you, I don’t wanna live if it’s not with you’, an ode to a girl who he has deep feelings for. This is a theme which is recurrent on the album, reappearing later in the album on the track boy, mt. silver (reprise), when he asks ‘Will you be my girl forever?’

This lyrical juxtaposition causes the track to be an emotional rollercoaster to listen to

When talking about boy, mt. silver (reprise), it is impossible not to mention the instrumental interlude. This full-orchestra crescendo splits the song into two parts, as afterwards the song takes a completely opposing direction lyrically – now, Gaspere sings ‘Ever since the moment that you left, I been feeling like a piece of me is missing’. This lyrical juxtaposition causes the track to be an emotional rollercoaster to listen to, and gives the listener an insight into the emotional journey that Gaspere experienced. 

The stand-out feature on the album is Ellise, on the title-track of the album, the long halloween. Her voice is silky smooth, and contrasts heavily to Gaspere’s raspy style of rapping, causing them to compliment each other perfectly. However, Gaspere proves that he can also utilise his own soft vocals on the track let me die. At first, it is difficult to believe that the voice on the hook of the song is really him, but this unique side to his voice causing the track to be a stand-out on the album.

His versatile voice can suit multiple genres, his talents are endless, and there is no doubt that this album is his best work to date

october’s lullaby closes the album on a slightly unexpected note, because the song, unlike the rest of the album, is not a rap song. Instead, it is a hyperpop track – which is no surprise to listeners familiar with the featuring artist glaive, because he is known for being a hyperpop artist. At only 1 minute 48 seconds long, it ends the album on a burst of energy. Hearing Gaspere sing on this track proves that his talents are not limited to rapping – his versatile voice can suit multiple genres, his talents are endless, and there is no doubt that this album is his best work to date.

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of israel palacio via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In article Tweets courtesy of @savagegasp via Twitter. No changes were made to these Tweets.

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