While many music scenes have been on the back burner, hip-hop has been more competitive than ever. Hip-hop artists are putting their all into their work, hoping to make statements through music. Shawn Cook is one of these many artists, bringing his passion and desire to create something special and putting it to words with his latest single, “Stay.” 

With “Stay,” Shawn Cook puts out his A-game, integrating his core hip-hop sound and using it as a vessel for his writing. The punchy, booming bassline and smooth synths give the song a cold vibe while maintaining an almost R&B-like feel. Clever utilization of trap beats also adds to the experience, giving the single strong presence. All of these different elements come together to make something distinct yet familiar.

Of course, the crux of any hip-hop track is its performer, and in this regard, Shawn Cook soars. In its essence, the best of hip-hop hinges on its storytelling, crafting elaborate stories and relishing in melodrama. It’s why being a good writer is a fundamental part of being a good hip-hop artist, and Shawn knows this. 

“Stay” is a song about being stuck in a toxic relationship by choice, fully aware of the issues that come with it. It’s a love song that reveals the darker side of relationships, the dependency, and the neediness of it all. While it’s a difficult topic to write about, Shawn Cook does an admirable job here. It artistically captures the feeling of exhaustion and desperation, working seamlessly with the instrumentals.

Of course, good writing is nothing without fitting delivery, and we’re happy to see that Shawn also delivers on this front. He’s charismatic and smooth, but behind this thin veneer is a person whose exhaustion is obvious. The chorus of “stay for a while” sounds desperate and hurt while also longing for company. As shifting tones take over the song, Shawn changes his style accordingly, keeping things dynamic and interesting.

Production is also immaculate here, with the song perfectly capturing and condensing its vibe. Emotions are translated perfectly into music, transporting the listener into Shawn’s head space effortlessly. It’s even more impressive, considering how the song shifts its sound multiple times while maintaining a consistent tone and mood.

To put it simply, Shawn Cook’s “Stay” is an excellent single that stands out from the crowd with its dynamic nature and brilliant storytelling. It’s a song that sounds great on the surface, shifting seamlessly between sounds, with enjoyable verses from Shawn himself. At the same time, digging deeper into the song is a rewarding experience, making relistening to it a treat. 

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