Experimental hip-hop artist Semkari (right) released an impromptu EP, ‘Bad Timing.’ | Photo by El

Local rapper Semkari delivers fun, fast-paced lo-fi hip-hop on his unprompted new EP, Bad Timing. The three new songs released April 1 were originally meant for a larger project, but he switched things up instead.  

“An artist usually plans stuff out,” Semkari told City Paper. “This was spontaneous — no planning, no marketing, just bad timing.”

While his 2021 record Lover’s Nightmare was emotion-based, Bad Timing is all about energy. Semkari stretched his songwriting on the three new tracks, focusing more on rapping cohesively in place of his more typical freestyle approach.

“I was testing myself with these songs because I went for rapping bars, not really singing and focusing on melodies,” Semkari said.

The compact new project is the result of collaborations with local rapper Hirow for beat production that weaves mechanical strikes and mumbling tones to bring tempo to the rhythmic lyrics. 

Columbia-based rapper Jtrawwww contributes on the last song, “Villain,” passing verses back and forth with Semkari to embody the offhand manner of the collaboration itself. 

“Though we recorded it separately, we wrote that song in the same room in three hours,” Semkari said. “In the next few days it was born.” 

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.