Self – SAIN

Sain, aka Fouch, aka Chris Fouchet, is for sure my most mysterious personal friend. Also from Long Island, Sain has a super unique sound, something I try and strive for. For Sain, it comes naturally though. With a solid arsenal on SoundCloudSelf is Sain’s third project, the first two being Fouche and the second being Break (Fouche is available on YouTube, and hopefully soon on Spotify and Apple Music). Sadly, and unlike the others, it’s only 4 songs but god damn my man put in the work. It took quite a few listens for me to realize (at least for me) what the message behind this project is.

The mysterious Sain cracks the door to his mental, just enough for us to sketch an image in our minds of the room that is his brain. Then, the door is slammed in our face just a mere fourteen minutes later. For someone I’ve known for a majority of my life, this taught me a lot about my boy, and inspired me to…well….not be more like him…but be more like myself. Thanks for the much-needed advice Fouch (Sain).

The Vocals:

“I’ve been shitty to my friends/ I don’t even know them/ I don’t ever call anyone/ Locked in my den” 

I’m sure everyone relates to this on some level but GOD DAMN dude, I feel that on a very personal level. That’s the first reason I love this project so much. Sain keeps his shit real as fuck, like really really real. His lyrics are so beautifully and artistically crafted. Honestly, after listening to it eight times from beginning to end just today, somehow Sain tricks the mind. I can’t front, this really isn’t a happy project. But the way he delivers the lyrics over the instrumentals makes your brain so happy, while the message is pretty damn sad, and relatable. Not to be a “fucking millennial” but this life shits mad hard. Why do you think this is my first article since December? Maybe it’s because…

“I think so many thoughts a day that it would make you throw up” 

Sain doe…Sain takes his personal struggles and makes really great, really relatable art out of it. The second reason I love this project so much is how many different artists you can hear influencing Sain (I’m assuming). He pulls inspiration from quite a few artists, and it’s fucking fascinating how prevalent it is. Leo (Colossus’ founder Heff) and I went out for drinks a few nights back and agreed Sain sounds like the combination of like six different artists from all different styles of Hip-Hop/R&B. He throws in some (properly used and actually enjoyable) auto-tune, some mild singing, all fire bars, and it’s all over beats that HE PRODUCES! MAD FUCKING RESPECT BROTHA! You can tell the man is a prodigy the way he talks about some of his issues while ever-so-playfully dancing around on his instrumentals. It’s ridiculously idiosyncratic. Ridiculously baller.

That brings me to my next thought…

The Instrumentals:

Sain gets DUMB funky with the instrumentals on Self. Like I mentioned earlier, he makes all his own instrumentals. After calling him and asking a few questions about the project, I’m blown away by the thought that went into his instrumentals. Not only does he sample (in some cases) historic and (in all cases) far out artists, but he ties in and recycles samples across multiple songs. I would have not caught that until presumably months from now had he not mentioned it. Sain is a groovy ass dude and even without his words, you can hear his grooviness, his passion, and his musical talent in his instrumentals (he may or may not have let me leech a few instrumentals off of him).

On Self we hear samples from Sam Cooke (aka the King of Soul) on “Bend”, we hear a sample from a fucking TED TALK presented by John Cacioppo that talks about “The Lethality of Loneliness” also on “Bend”. Also, an insanely fantastic Ted Talk to watch, thanks again Fouch. He goes on to use, then somehow nonchalantly recycle a vocal sample from an acapella group called “Voices In Your Head” that ties the project together without you even knowing why. All in all, these instrumentals are on a different level. They’re unique as fuck, MAJORRRRR slaps, upbeat and bouncy enough to make your toes tap and your head bob, yet dark and cloudy enough to match the vibes of the project and remind you what he’s saying is serious. It is sheer, fucking musical genius.

The Overall Vibe:

As I keep saying, this project is a complete mindfuck for me. I love it so much. It’s not clear cut. It’s not a “Look at me, everybody! I’m the fucking best! Gimmie fame and clout!” project, it’s not Soundcloud rap, it’s genuinely from the mind and soul. Something rare as fuck these days. It’s (again in my opinion) genuine, incredibly talent driven music. Sain mentioned on our short call that his goal was “to do what no one else is doing” and I think, unlike most musicians who spew that bullshit, it’s really crafted in a way we don’t see anymore. He really went and did it to em’.

Another factor of this project, something I’ve just been introduced to with Self, that makes it that much more unique is the “4×4 Rubric”, that (to the best of our knowledge Fouch (Sain) came up with himself). Sain’s “4×4 Rubric” means that Self is composed of 4 songs, and all 4 titles are 4 characters each. “Need”, “Feed”, “Bend”, “END.” Best described as a super low-key Haiku-Hip-Hop type of idea. I totally dig it. Also…

*SPOILER ALERT*

Sain might have mentioned he’s gonna make a project like this once a month. Hence the overly-complex simplicity of it. Mans on his shit. I fucking love it.

That’s fucking impressive.

That’s a real fucking smart musician.

Overall, I dig the vibes super hard. I’ve been in a super dark spot in life the last few months and his words were something I really needed to and finally did hear. It’s really relatable for anyone dealing with Self struggles. I also have to add the disclaimer that it’s not some cheesy Logic spewing words out about mental health radio shit. It’s from the heart of a really real “just-like-you” human. I love Logic but he’s OD with it. Sain hits the nail on the head and is super humble about it.

The fact that (almost) the entirety of this project, including the album art, comes completely from Sain’s talented brain makes me respect the ever-loving shit out of it. I say “(almost)” because Sain mentioned that one of his boys from college and another insanely talented producer, Ian Campbell, mixed and mastered the project. Let me just say, great shit my guy. In my opinion, as a musician and aspiring (slightly educated) producer, the mixing and mastering on this project are nearly flawless. It sounds so clean, so great, so well crafted so SHOUT OUT IAN CAMPBELL!

The Essentials:

This project is only 4 songs so here’s my favorite because I don’t wanna be OD and say the whole thing is essential.

“Bend”

The Rating:

Don’t think I’m biased since Sain and I have been friends for a while. We’ve been out of touch for way too long now, so this is my sheer unbiased rating of this album.

8.0

Honestly, I really wish it was longer. But knowing Sain’s 4×4 Rubric allows me to accept it’s length. Whether it was made by someone I’ve known forever, or some random ass “New Music Friday” artist on Spotify, this is a great fucking project. Please keep em’ coming. This really really helped my mental and made the last few months a little less shitty by making me feel not alone.

Final Thoughts:

It’s great to hear from you, Fouch. I mentioned earlier and I’ll say it again, for the first time in my life I experienced depression and truly being unmotivated to get up in the morning. This project spoke to me. It gave me hope in reaching normality within myself again and frankly made me feel at peace for the first time since January 25th. So yeah, life can be FUCKING hard BUT if you’re not a shaky warrior, you can take that dark cloud and turn it into an overcast day.

You can take that overcast day and turn it into a sunny day. You can take that sunny day and shine a beautiful light on others. That’s exactly what Sain did with this project. His pure musical talent, mixed with a 2019 mindset made for a great fucking project. There’s absolutely not one good reason to not bump Self at least once. It’s 14 minutes long, insanely thought-provoking, and most importantly REAL.

Colossus Fam, it’s fucking great to be back.

Much love!

– JMac

Leave a Reply