Don’t be “a-Freud” of loving Daniel Ceasar’s “Freudian”

22-year-old hip-hop artist Daniel Caesar reaches new heights in his new album “Freudian,” released on Aug. 25. The debut artist explores the depths of love, highlighting both the romance as well as the setbacks in relationships. Caesar breaks out of his shell from his first album, “Pilgrim’s Paradise,” and focuses his lyrics on love and its effects on people.

The album art cover features the young Canadian climbing up a platform. At age 17, Caesar was kicked out of school for a minor weed infraction. Soon afterward, he had a falling out with his father and left home, getting a job as a dishwasher and sleeping in friends’ houses and on park benches. Through this cover art, he cleverly informs the listener of his transformation from a starving, homeless artist to a rising music industry star.

In a culture where hip-hop music has turned into a form of media to spread misogyny and greed, this unique artist focuses instead on affection and devotion, a heartwarming style that has been long forgotten.

The album begins with “Get You,” which hones in on a new relationship that has him thinking about how it all came to be. Throughout the hit song, he repeats the line, “Who would’ve thought I’d get you?,” illustrating his newfound feelings. By placing this song first, Caesar helps establish the atmosphere in which he will venture into the depths of love, lust and the meaning of being in a relationship. In an interview with Billboard, Caesar reveals the purpose of the song, saying, “I met a girl and got very involved. She brought things and feelings out of me that I didn’t know I had. ‘Get You’ is a song of praise to a love I didn’t even feel I deserved at the time.”

Caesar takes a sharp turn in “Hold Me Down,” delving into the insecurities that one feels in a relationship as well as the ups and downs of love. The song begins with an ominous chorus and leads to a slow, jazz guitar theme, signifying the mixed signals he received. He continuously repeats, “First you love me then you leave me on the pavement,” illustrating his frustration and the difficulties of a new relationship. In combination with the accompaniment of the guitar theme, it creates a reassuring effect that the listeners can interpret as an attempt to put Caesar’s mind to rest.

The rising hip-hop star later elaborates on his purpose for the album in “We Find Love”-to reveal the story of his love for that girl who brought out feelings never experienced before. In this song, his biggest insecurity comes to life: the love of his life grows apart from him and walks out of his life. Caesar compiles his journey through love with the lines “We find love, we get up/ Then we fall down, we give up.”

The album closes out with the title song “Freudian.” Caesar keeps listeners on their toes in this song, as he talks about his mother diverging from the concept of past relationships. “You are the reason / The reason I sing” can give most listeners the impression that he is speaking of the love of his life. However, if one listens attentively, he writes “You are the reason, the reason I’m alive,” speaking of his birth. While Caesar tells his mother he loves her, he furtively apologizes to his mother for all his mistakes. “I know I brought shame / Put a mock on your name … I made some change.” One can hear the pain in his voice when he repeats, “Isn’t it nice / Human sacrifice,” accentuating how his mother’s sacrifices shaped who he is today. 

Surrounded by frequent hip-hop themes, Caesar’s “Freudian” stands out with its preaching of love and restoring trust. Capitalizing on common pop culture, Caesar skillfully produces lyrics that relate to his audience and pours his feelings and experiences into his music, a trait that is lacking in today’s music industry. “Freudian” is truly an emotional and elegant album with an electrifying effect.