To familiarize yourself with the story of Clyde Guevara is to be privy to the pain he’s felt over the last few years. One look at his Instagram and it’s evident that he took pride in being his brother Jah’s keeper, until Jah was gunned down one month after returning home from a prison sentence. But Clyde says his life isn’t solely darkness—in fact, he believes it’s a journey to finding the light amid the circumstances. “Higher Vibration” is the Brooklyn rapper’s attempt at trying to coexist somewhere between pain and persistence.
Clyde arrives in the desert, riding in a car fit from Back to the Future. “Life’s amazing, far from basic / We stayed patient, now I’m on a higher vibration,” he raps on the hook. It’s declarative, and a step into the life the Brooklyn rapper is trying to bring to fruition. “The person you are and the person you want to be exist at the same time,” he told Noisey via email. “Your thoughts and energy determine your reality. Manifestation is our real life superpower. The Higher our Vibration, the closer we are to GOD.”
Guevara swaggers around the car, with $100 bills strewn carelessly on the front seat, the desert floor, and even burns them in an old television set. Moments later, Clyde stands in front of what appears to be the same car, except this one is totaled, and riddled with bullets. The breakdown is pretty sick, with the sky changing above him—a more overt signal of the transformation presented to him. He trades in his gritty tone and attitude for a slurred sing-song melody that sits in introspection: “Ain’t nobody in your way but you, shit / You just got a problem with the truth, shit.” Suddenly, there are two Guevaras—one in front of the dismantled car and one whose car is in perfect condition. It seems like a moment where the rapper is holding up a mirror to himself, one version of himself so immersed in pain, the other looking for a clean slate.
Clyde Guevara’s debut LP, freeJAH, is coming July 20.
Kristin Corry is a staff writer at Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.