Today, Pat Junior begins an ongoing series of freestyles with visuals that will give him a space to rhyme about whatever’s on his mind, he says. The first result is like a two-song mixtape with professional production values that give his thoughts of the moment the musical weight to stand the test of time.

Always introspective and socially incisive, the Raleigh hip-hop polymath’s mind turns to issues including cultural appropriation and mental health on “Take 10 (Freestyle).” The visual was directed by Pat Junior and Ryan Pham, with beats from friends at Pelham & Junior, Pat’s production company with J. Pelham.

In the first half, Pat drills triplets into a serpentine track, calling out white people who feed on Black culture without caring about Black lives. Images of Pat rapping among sunny trees are cut with historical footage from the Civil Rights Movement, triggered Karen clips, and white teens appropriating Black dances for social media trends.

In the second half, the music seamlessly shifts to a mellow, ruminative register as Pat proffers insights on changing standards around misogyny in rap, which modulates into a discussion of online toxicity and the hidden toll of emotional burnout, closing with the poignant question, “When’s the last time you checked up on your strong friend?”

All this in a little more than two minutes. Follow Pat Junior on Twitter for future installments of the series—we can’t wait to see where it goes.

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