Nick Explicit was just starting primary school when his family fled Ukraine and landed in South Africa. It was there he learned English and there he started rapping, honing his talent on local radio shows by rapping about the week’s news. Beautiful Life is from his third EP, Can’t Change.

The song opens with easy listening music, reminiscent of Lionel Richie’s Easy Like a Sunday Morning. The melodic chorus opens with “I look up to the sky/I tell myself, oh beautiful life”, and that sets the tone for the song. This is about the joy of life, of living in a wonderful moment and not worrying about any future problems.

There are suggestions of influence of Joburg’s Kwaito style of hip hop, with a beat slower than other rap or electronic genres. It’s swaying music rather than bouncing music. Nick’s rapping is clear and crisp, with a flowing scansion and unforced rhymes. This is man who is determined to smile and enjoy life in spite of whatever everyone else is doing, or trying to get him to do. Smiling becomes a life philosophy in this song, a bold affirmation that “the world could be different/if we smiled just a little more frequent”.

Nick Explicit’s music can be found here.