Video Premiere: Cincinnati MCs Ronin Halloway, Jay Hill and JayBee Lamahj Team Up for “Babs Forever”

The Smokeface-produced track is being released as a standalone single on Oct. 25

click to enlarge "Babs Forever" cover art by Florida artist Paul Kellam
"Babs Forever" cover art by Florida artist Paul Kellam
Cincinnati Hip Hop artists Ronin Halloway, JayBee Lamahj and Jay Hill (of the local trio Patterns of Chaos) have teamed up for a new standalone single, “Babs Forever.”

The single will be available to stream tomorrow (Oct. 25), but today CityBeat is thrilled to share the music video for the track.

Over a trippy, warped soundscape, “Babs Forever” — which was crafted with local producer/musician Smokeface and engineered by fellow local Hip Hop artist Devin Burgess — eschews choruses, instead spotlighting the three MCs’ lyrical and vocal gymnastics, creating a relentless and passionate onslaught of words and flow. The video — directed by Bradley Thompson — matches that kinetic energy, splashing each rapper’s feature with a different colored filter as the tracks rolls on.  

Hill says the collaboration was a cathartic outlet.

“To be honest we didn’t have many ideas so much as feelings if that makes any sense,” he says. “The song is us shedding a whole bunch of spiritual weight and making an aggressive break from the darkness each of us has been dealing with.”

So — who’s Babs? Is the track a Barabara Streisand tribute? Uh… no. It's essentially a non sequitur, Halloway explains, but not completely devoid of meaning.

“We called it ‘Babs Forever’ because ‘Babs’ was the name of the demo Smoke sent to all of us,” he says. "Once we finished and recorded it we were super stoked and happy with how it turned out, but didn’t know what name it. We’d been constantly texting and talking about this project called ‘Babs’ so ‘Babs’ just felt like a dope name to commemorate the beautiful energy of the track. I think we all fell in love with the orchestral sounds Smoke used; everybody definitely snapped and spit like crazy but if you listen in, there’s a lot of emotional content being shared in those verses too.”

“Babs Forever” will be available tomorrow on Halloway’s Spotify. Be sure to check out the sounds of Hill and Lamahj on Spotify as well.



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