Manu Crooks has been one of a few Aussie Hip-Hop acts to crossover into international success in recent years and he’s not about to let the world forget about him. Crooks’ new single ‘Killing Me Softly’ carries all the effortless drip and energy that you’d find in a Future or Saint Jhn track, with the production and melodic vocals also even hinting towards sounds you may find in a Burna Boy or PARTYNEXTDOOR track.
Crooks has cited albums such as 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and Kanye West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as some of his favourites. You can tell it’s that larger than life sound he’s searching for in his own music and you can just easily tell, he’s not too far away. However, despite the worldwide influences Crooks considers the track as almost an ode to the Australian Hip-Hop scene and a reminder to keep a foot on the gas, '...if we want to sustain this growth in our industry, we can't be shooting ourselves in the foot before even begin to start running'.
If you’re not careful, the hook of this track might have you involuntarily brushing proverbial dirt off your shoulder. You can picture Crooks parting a crowd as he strolls through in dark shades, nodding at security and waltzing into the club ahead of the line as he reminds everyone who’s king. The flexing isn’t just hype, it's ominous. With an EP called Mood Forever II said to be coming later this year, this track sounds like a reminder that Crooks is coming for the world and doesn’t seem all that keen on letting anything stand in his way.
The harder hitting moments of the track are interspersed with quick vignettes of introspection. Crooks appears to be reflecting on a past relationship as he raps ‘Know that we got cold in the heat/Know that we got cold at the beach/Looks like we got cold at the -’ before the hook cuts him off and comes back in. The sharpness of the hook cutting back shows us not only Crooks’ attitude of getting the ‘devil off me’ and focusing on the ‘game plan’ but also hints at some more introspective moments on the upcoming EP.
Manu Crooks has had his name popping up in all the right places over the past couple of years and ‘Killing Me Softly’ is his statement that he still has all the hunger to make sure his name isn’t forgotten anytime soon.