Opener 2:32am introduces the theme of insomnia, referenced in the title. It begins with static, and the repeating tones and strange countdown of a numbers station, creating a feeling of paranoia, solitude and trepidation. The first beat blasts in over the samples with the assault of first-wave dubstep or lo-fi, underground trap, Meraki’s flow a devastating barrage of triplets, sometimes nasal and imperious, sometimes breathless and anxiety-ridden: “Welcome to the shit show, my life.”
Like Physiks and Shogun, who both feature heavily on the album, Gasp’s brilliance also lies in being able to straddle different stylistic trends in rap music, from the intense assault of trap beats with dizzying multis, to head-nodding boom-bap and back again. His origins in the seminal crew The Being mirror the creative energy which saturates this impressive, dynamic album.