Listening through Falak Fahim’s discography, it’s clear just how musical his sound has become. His new EP, Pick Your Cheesecake, Tisha, hit streaming last month via 617banks, the Dallas, Texas collective home to Fahim and his co-conspirators. Baritone singer Zuberi makes a guest appearance on all three tracks, while witty rapper Hassan contributes a verse on just one.
Falak Fahim got into the game with songs like “Mute” and “Ping,” rhythmic double-time pop-rap. On his new EP, the music sounds just purposeful enough to reach the upper hip-hop, R&B, and soul-informed echelon of pop grooves. Yet, the music is not distracting from Fahim’s signature unflinchingly honest musings on those pesky belly butterflies that made “Mute” and “Ping” enjoyable listens.
Patience has become a virtue in this world. His songs are like those bridges you’ll cross in grassy parks on mild hikes. They take you to the next song, but you still have to watch your step.
On track one, “Pick Your Pace,” Fahim lays out his core message: “I know you do not love me, but baby, I’ll be patient.” Zuberi steps into the song’s waning moments to deliver a colorful baritone. Hassan joins in on “Cheesecake” and breaks the pretty production down with a story-telling barrage of bars. “Baby, put me in my place.”
Without missing a beat, Fahim emerges.
“Baby, this a grown-up place / Baby, don’t behave this way / I ain’t got a lot to say / Baby, tell me about your day.”
Zuberi kisses the song goodbye with his second of three guest appearances on the project. He sings, “I just need some time / Time to think and be alone,” and waves the proverbial white flag.
On the last song, “Tisha Campbell,” Fahim resigns himself to the new reality, saying “Alright, bet,” more to himself than anyone before the first bar: “You could be Gina, I could be Martin.” This is Fahim’s last shot. You can hear in his voice that even he knows it’s futile, that there’s no way he’ll change this person’s mind.
Zuberi comes in for the last time. “You make it feel so real / You know what you’ve done / It’s impossible to escape my love.”
A raucous ten-second drum solo later, it’s all over.