Trauma & Grace – [Medhane]

Medhane is a very unique artist. Despite being born in New York City, the young artist’s style sounds nothing like the city’s ancestral influences, such as Jay-Z and The Notorious B.I.G. Not adhering to traditional boom-bap direction, Medhane’s vocals are much more monotone, often meshing well with grimy lofi instrumentals to match his gloomy, yet interesting artistic approach. Similar artistic peers point to artists such as Earl Sweatshirt and Chester Watson, who are exceptional in their own right. It is no surprise then that Earl Sweatshirt co-signed Medhane, with Earl having produced a collaborative track of theirs called “agoura134.” The pair have even collaborated in a fashion sense, with Medhane modeling for Earl’s clothing line “Deathworld.” Fast forward to 2020, Medhane is more motivated than ever to forge his own lane and identity. His latest visual is for the song “Trauma and Grace,” which is off his 2019 album Own Pace. The song is very chill, yet ominous, with Medhane’s opening lyrics being: “In between tomorrow and today, sunshine and I’m in the shade, stress being my wake, can’t express the pain, isolated days, what’s the price to change, life is strange.” The production matches Medhane’s melancholy tone and flow throughout, as well as the stillness throughout the video. Several objects with differentiated colors are flashed, serving as depictions of trauma and grace. For example, in the beginning, the wall, TV, and Medhane himself are depicted as entirely black and white; whereas, towards the end the same room (and Medhane) is presented in color. The theme of the song is the relationship between Medhane’s traumatic experiences, and his gradual graceful period to overcome them: “Moving at my own pace, know the stakes, learn from all of my mistakes, and they all full of snakes trying to take mine / both the trauma and the grace mine, everything gone take time.” At the very end, a lit candle is shown, symbolizing Medhane’s grace. The candle eventually fades out, however, which can be interpreted as his grace reverting back to trauma or being removed. Either way, the visual directed by Gabriel Rodriguez-Fuller fully captures the conceptual and creative excellence of Medhane. Peep the full music video below.