NZ rapper Gino October has been mastering his flow, production, and lyrical prowess from a young age. Free Falling is his victory lap.
At 16, Gino October was gifted a computer, mic, and interface from his brother, who clearly had an ear for talent. Wasting no time, October released his first EP in 2016, refining his live shows and growing his audience.
The rapper’s hustle and commitment to excellence saw him score an impressive feature on JessB’s track Work With while continuing to grow his own catalogue with solicitous bangers such as Better For Ya. This time around, the artist has returned with a track doused in earnest liberation.
Free Falling begins with some wobbly synths and a witty voice recording. A presumed family member or mate beckons October to come “spark a doobie”, right before the track breaks into an irresistible soundscape of percussive, wavy hip-hop. Enter October, quipping, “I’m from Cape Town, but I’m good no matter where I am”.
The self-aware charm of October, as well as the cheeky voice memo opening the track, is reminiscent of Drake, one of the rapper’s central influences. However, October’s appeal goes much deeper.
To the infectious beat, the NZ-based artist touches on his past, classism, and inequality, breathing complexity into the song:
“We used to call the rich kids some assholes, never worked but somehow they got everything they asked for.”
Free Falling feels like a look back on a difficult journey and a relishing in the project’s success. It’s not about ego. It’s about putting “money in my mother’s hand”, the artist clarifies.
Not only does October switch between flows with impressive elasticity, but he also understands the importance of singing hooks to keep the interest of the track moving at a light-speed pace. It’s always a huge selling point when a rapper can cover their own hooks instead of needing to bring in guest vocals onto every track.
Before you know it, the atmospheric production and tight snare work of Free Falling reach an abrupt halt. Next, you’ll find yourself skydiving into October’s earlier offerings, on the hunt for even more rhythmic flows, catchy hooks, and provocative lyrics. Don’t worry. You’ll have your hands full.
Free Falling is out now. Stream or buy the single here.