QUADECA – I DIDN’T MEANT TO HAUNT YOU REVIEW

Being the massive music nerd that I am, I do not have many opportunities to react to music that’s genuinely new to me. I am someone who is usually so tuned into the music sphere that I check out pretty much any and every trending artist as soon as they gain traction. Because of this, by the time I react to a full project from most rising artists I already have a pretty good gauge of what they are about musically(or at least what they have done in the past musically). Even though I know he’s been around for a while, Quadeca is someone whose music and persona as a whole are something I don’t know much about. For some reason, I never really checked out his music or content. Quadeca started as a YouTuber, originally making content about the FIFA video games. He eventually transitioned to making music on YouTube, uploading original songs and freestyles to his page. He released his debut album in Voice Memos in 2019. Although many in the industry didn’t love this record and dismissed it as corny “YouTube Rap,” it ended up getting a pretty big following online. He followed this record up with his second release, From Me To You, in 2021. This record also garnered a big following online, and also gained some respect from the music reviewers a part of the industry. The record was particularly praised for its production. Not everyone enjoyed the vocals or the lyrics, but it is undeniable that the production is awesome and that Quadeca is very talented in this regard. Quadeca has now come back with his third record, which is I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You. This project has been getting a ton of attention and praise online that is impossible to ignore. A lot of creators who make content online have even been putting this project among their favorites of 2022. These are bold claims, and it makes me very excited to check this project out. With that being said, here is how I feel about Quadeca’s new record I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You. Please let me know in the comments below how you feel about this record, and also let me know in the comments what your favorite songs are from this project.

Quadeca’s I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You gets off to a mysterious and celestial start with the song ‘sorry4dying.’ I did not know what I expected this album to begin like, but I can say that it was not this. The instrumental is so atmospheric and cloudy; it is driven by otherworldly-sounding synths that have a heavenly sound with a sort of dark undertone. The melody sounds so positive and so downtrodden to me at the same time. Throughout the song, the beat changes multiple times. The song starts out with no beat, with a traditional Trap beat eventually kicking in. About halfway through the song, the beat changes to having a Big Beat sound that slightly reminds me of The Prodigy. Quadeca’s vocals on the song match the tone of the instrumental. His high, breathy vocal style on the track meshes with the instrumental so well. This track is such a captivating way to begin the record, On ‘sorry4dying,’ Quadeca is singing from the perspective of the character he created(who is based on himself) for the record talking about the circumstances around his death to a loved one beyond the grave. He is explaining why he killed himself, stating that he felt so lonely and unsupported while he was alive and does not understand that people were only able to see his greatness after he passed. The next song, ‘tell me a joke,’ keeps that otherworldly synthetic sound that the first track had. This track has a tone that is a lot warmer, though. This one has a melody that is very bright and cozy; it has this interesting all-encompassing feeling to it. This song has a style of beat that is a bit more steady than the one on the song that precedes it. The beat does fade in and out throughout the song and at times it gets increasingly intense at certain times of the song, but overall it has a Trap R&B sound that seems to be inspired by artists like Frank Ocean. Quadeca’s vocal performance on this song is pretty and light and welcoming, and it sounds so nice over this instrumental. On, ‘tell me a joke,’ Quadeca discusses how he thinks his life was a joke and how he feels like everyone was always laughing at him. ‘don’t mind me’ has a sound that is equally as grand and spacey as the song that precedes it, but not nearly as warm. It is not as cold as the sound of the first track, though; I would say this one has a bit more of a heavenly and light feel to it. I think this is due to the chime sounds that are sprinkled in. The beat for this one, which similarly to the last song takes a while to kick in and increases with intensity, has a fast-paced Electronic-Pop sound. It makes me think of modern indie Drum and Bass type beats that artists like PinkPantheress use. The rap flow that Quadeca uses over this beat at times is cool. It is a delivery approach that works well on this kind of music. On ‘don’t mind me,’ Quadeca is watching a loved one mourn his death from beyond the grave. He yearns for this person to let go of him and move on, but sees they are not ready to do so. Quadeca goes in a different direction than where the first three songs went on ‘picking up hands.’ This one is a lot more low-key than the first three songs on the record. It does still have an unearthly feeling to it like those do, though. It is cool how the song can have a similar tone to those while having a much different style and being way calmer. This track starts with a Folk-R&B sound that eventually picks up a Trap beat and starts to sound more Hip Hop. As the song progresses, the instrumental gets more distorted, and the soft and dainty element the song has at the beginning devolves into something more real and negative; the further the song moves along, the more its sound gets darker and heavier. Quadeca’s vocal performance on this song doesn’t necessarily stand out, but its mellow nature fits the song nicely. On ‘picking up hands,’ Quadeca talks about visiting his childhood home after death and remembering how he grew up while also witnessing the negative effects his death is having on his mother.

Quadeca picks up where the last song left off on the next track, which is called ‘born yesterday.’ On this one, he leans heavily into the distorted Folk sound the song before it has. Instead of having a dark and heavy tone like ‘picking up hands,’ though, ‘born yesterday’ has a brighter and lighter tone. About halfway through the song, an industrial kind of drum pattern kicks in, giving the song some needed texture. Quadeca’s vocal performance stands out in this song. The emotion in his voice is so palpable, and this emotion is added to with the vocal effects sprinkled in. On ‘born yesterday,’ Quadeca once again is watching his loved ones suffer with the reality of his death. He realizes how much he misses the people he lost by dying, specifically his mom. The next song, at 1:42, is by far the shortest track on the album. Because it has very little amount of lyricism and because of its placement in the record, the song feels like an interlude. It has a distorted Folk-R&B sound that reminds me of the first couple of songs on the album. As I mentioned earlier, this song only has a few lines. In these lines, Quadeca is wondering why someone he loved is not outwardly showing grief in his death. He is doubting whether this person ever really cared about him at all. Following this, we get the song ‘house settling,’ which features Danny Brown. When I saw this feature, I got excited, as I enjoy Danny Brown so much and think he is one of the most underrated rappers of his generation. This instrumental for this song starts with a heavenly and bright piano riff that has a bit of a calm feeling. The calm feeling this melody provides quickly devolves as the song progresses, though. As the song moves along, various chime and synth songs come in that contain a lot of static and distortion. The drum pattern this track has(which starts at about 1:30) has an anxious, tribal feeling to it. At about 2:30, Danny Brown starts, rapping, and the beat switches to having a Trap sound to it. As Danny Brown’s verse ends, the Trap beat goes away, and the song gains back its light and heavenly feeling(except for the very end of the track, when a distorted and unsettling horn sound kicks in that draws away from any sweetness the song had before this). Quadeca gives a solid vocal performance, but the real stand-out is Danny Brown. His energy and attitude contrast that of Quadeca’s so much, giving the song a level of liveliness that is needed. In ‘house settling,’ Quadeca is lonely because he has no loved ones with him in the afterlife and he wants to poison them to kill them so they can join them. Quadeca completely switches up the sound and feel of the record with the next song, ‘knots.’ On this one, he fully leans into the industrial breakbeat sounds that have appeared in pieces at various points in this record and makes something totally out of the blue within the context of this record. ‘knots’ does not have an intricate melody like all of the other songs on the record before this; in fact, this track has no melody. The song is driven by aggressive and distorted synths and a super intense Jungle beat. Given its lyrics and the lyrics of the song that precedes it, the instrumental is even more unsettling. Quadeca’s vocal performance is excellent in this song. The anger and despair that he is experiencing is so palpable in the way he raps. On ‘knots,’ Quadeca is talking about the literal event of his suicide and uses it as a metaphor for why he killed himself(if you listen to the song, this statement will make sense, trust me). The way this song is written is very interesting, but what he is saying is so sad. 

After ‘knots,’ I had no idea where he would go with the next track. I kind of expected it to have an equally intense sound. Instead, the beginning of ‘fantasyworld’ is one of the most low-key moments on the entire record. The first two minutes of the track consist of Quadeca lightly singing over a somber and soft piano riff with various sound effects popping up in the background. At about two minutes, a crescendo of sound comes in that builds up more and more as the song goes on. The song has a bit of a distorted symphony sound to it. According to Quadeca, ‘fantasyworld’ is the first song in the chronological order of this record; i.e., to this point all of the songs have been performed from the perspective of him already being dead, but this one is from the perspective of he had right before his death. On ‘fantasyworld,’ Quadeca is talking about everything that he wanted to do in his life that he wanted to do but never got the chance to do. Following this, we get ‘fractions of infinity,’ which features the Sunday Service Choir(of Kanye West’s JESUS IS KING fame). Similar to the last song, this track starts out being driven by a sweet piano riff, eventually progressing to have a grand and intense sound with a lot of distortion. At one point in the song, a beat comes in that has a bit of a 2000s Hip Hop sound to it. The melody is very light, breezy, and sweet, giving the song a more positive sound than most of the other tracks on the record. Similar to the first song with a feature, Quadeca’s vocal performance is nice and it goes with the sound of the music, but the real stand-out performers are his guests on the record, The Sunday Service choir. They come in at the end of the song and add to the Heavenly aspect of the track so much. The end of this song feels like someone is approaching the entrance to Heaven as the choir of angels sing. On ‘fractions of infinity,’ Quadeca is finally ready to let go of his attachment to his memories of the real world and accept his fate in the afterlife. He does not know how his God will punish him for killing himself, but he is ready for whatever he has coming next. The album closes out with the song ‘cassini’s division,’ which features Thor Harris. This song is not like anything I have ever heard. It sounds like a soundscape from a movie about someone who has died and is on their way to the afterlife. Following a bunch of unsettling distortion, a lullaby melody starts playing with a faint Trap beat popping up in the background. The distortion from earlier in the song did not go away, which makes this lullaby not feel soothing in any way. If anything, the lullaby combined with the distortion and sound effects makes the track feel even more disturbing. At the six-minute mark, everything goes quiet, and some static faintly comes in. This static gets louder and more intense for the next two and a half minutes until it abruptly comes to a stop and the record ends. Even though it is hard to make out, Quadeca does rap in this song. In ‘cassini’s division,’ Quadeca is fading into the afterlife, letting go of his loved ones and all of his attachments to the world. I am guessing that the static at the end of the song is meant to symbolize him disappearing from our dimension. Whether he is moving on to some sort of tangible afterlife or his life force is literally disappearing forever is for the listener to determine for themselves.  

As I stated at the beginning of this review, I truly did not know what to expect from Quadeca going into this record. I am going to be completely transparent, I had a bit of an unfair assumption about what his music would sound like. I figured that he would be another generic Emo-Trap artist that was obsessed with Lil Peep and wanted to be just like him. After listening to I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You, I have realized he is not like that at all. I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You is a concept record about someone who has ended their life and immediately regrets it. As the record progresses, this person is coming to terms with what they have done while looking back on their life and realizing it was not as bad as they perceived it to be while alive. At the end of the record, this person accepts that they need to move on and accept whatever is going to happen to them next. Everything about this record drives its meaning home. From the production to the lyricism to the vocal performances, Quadeca embodies the feeling of the meaning of this record in such a riveting way. I Didn’t Mean To Haunt You is such an interesting and cool album that shows Quadeca is a rising star in the music industry that people need to respect, as there are not many people doing it like him

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health and considering suicide, please call the number 988 or go to itgetsbetter.org

FAVORITE TRACKS – sorry4dying, don’t mind me, born yesterday, house settling(featuring Danny Brown), knots, fantasyworld, fractions of inifinity(featuring Sunday Service Choir)

8.3/10

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