Rexx Life Raj collaborates with Fireboy DML, and Wale in this hip hop, Afrobeat single complete with components of Jazz, Soul, and Funk. While his previous singles Moonwalk and Aura demonstrate strong lyrical flair, Beauty in the Madness asks listeners to ‘meet me where words don’t even matter.’ Raj, therefore, retains an image at the fringes of a cornball and rich-making music industry, and his single is his weapon against conformity to said industry, a search to create an undeniable feeling.
Beaty in the Madness is also a nostalgic attempt to deal with the painful present. Raj spoke of losing both his parents in the past year and his desperate search for silver linings. Perhaps that’s why, for all its melodrama and sadness, Beauty in the Madness seems to contain an energetic core of hope: “Cause we know the sun doesn’t always shine, yeah/But as long as you dance in the rain with me, then I’ll be fine.” Fireboy’s verse is the most literal ‘I know you got a man, but killer coming’ but after this, the closure the chorus offers is an important one: the ambiguous message of finding beauty in the madness. The overall feeling, therefore, is an Afrobeat experiment that is in harmony with totally fearless creative abandon.
Raj is more than just a synthetic smooth operator, blending genres and dynamic voices in the industry; rather, Beauty in the Madness is a blueprint for making music, for finding technical and artistic moments of beauty in a superficial and slightly maddening music world. Raj explains that Beauty in the Madness was conceived with the use of ‘’mushroom chocolate’’, making a coquettish reference to hallucinogenic highs. This is necessary because it helps us to navigate the atmospheric cloud the song hovers in. Beauty in the Madness then is also about drugs, literally and figuratively, hallucinogenic, and emotional highs, as well the metaphorical pits of losing parents and the highs and anticipation of love.
Words by Jessica Corne