Photo by Ian Witlen

Photo by Ian Witlen

Aaron Frank is the Archbishop.

I assumed Deniro Farrar was just another mixtape rapper until I saw him jump on stage during Lunice’s set at a recent Boiler Room event. Shirtless and covered in tattoos, the hulking Charlotte-based rapper easily stood out amid the sea of snapback-sporting kids in the crowd, some of whom looked slightly terrified in his presence. With Lunice pushing the subwoofers to the limit during the Ryan Hemsworth-produced “Big Tookie,” Farrar excitedly growled in to the mic like an old school punk singer, making for one the most exciting performances I saw all March.

After the track was over, I sought out Farrar’s Bandcamp page to find that he’d just released a new album called The Patriarch. “Big Tookie” wasn’t the only banger. Aside from a menacing delivery and a knack for well-crafted hooks, Farrar also has an excellent ear for production, picking out the perfect beats to fit his range of subject matter. The aforementioned Ryan Hemsworth, has two beats on The Patriarch, but the album also posts a solid showing from producers K20 and SXMPLELIFE. The latter provides an emotional backdrop on “Fears,” where Farrar gives us a proper introduction and recites his trials and tribulations over a screwed Chromatics sample.

I rarely purchase new music these days, but when someone like this crosses my my radar [ed. note: that Shady Blaze-Farrar collab was low-key excellent], I’m more than happy to shell out. Stream the album, read his passionate statement on the motivation behind The Patriarch, join a cult.

I am indebted forever to my music family (I do not have “fans”) forever, however this is not geared solely to please others. Music is therapy, and true magic and classic material occurs when artists leave their souls on a track. This is The Patriarch. Written in some of the darkest and most bleak times in my life, this is my therapy. Facing indescribable personal trials and tribulations, coupled with my family crumbling as I watch my lil bro and biggest supporter face a serious trial and jail sentence, I did the thing I was born to do. Write and express my life. Motivated by yall’s support, that someone wanted to hear what I had to say, this emotional work was conceived. This is the light at the end of the tunnel. The rose born in the concrete. This is The Patriatch.