January 25, 2013

Slava P does illusions. Tricks are for whores.

Every up and coming rapper that I stumble upon while browsing through the Soundcloud can be put into two bins: the ones that unsuccessfully try to sound like A$AP Rocky, and the ones that successfully sound like Meek Mill. I couldn’t even imagine what sort of “artists” I’d find if I went on Tumblr. When even Ciara is out here trying to capitalize on the Trap/Trill/Turn-Up wave sounding like French Montana, it’s safe to say that lane has been saturated. So I was pleasantly surprised to stumbled onto HOF, a Miami based rapper whose sing-raps teleport you back in time to 2010, when crooning alongside your bars was both accepted and lauded. I place the blame on the portrait-heavy and leather-studded shoulders of Drake and Future (respectively) for taking a good thing and running away with it to the point where the only place for singing in hip-hop is regulated to the hook.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any crooners spitting right now: Rockie Fresh does it sparingly; A$AP Rocky does it poorly; Riff Raff does it shockingly surprisingly at times. What sets HOF apart is how he pairs his adenoidal and often-off-key gamut of vocals with whimsical production to create songs like “Midnight Train,” which make you feel as if you’re enjoying a sunny afternoon watching over the waves in the Port of Miami. At just over 22 minutes in length, his debut LP, Magick, may feel a little short, but once you settle into the groove that HOF crafted it’s easy to get lost in the music and accidentally replay a few songs. The infectious songwriting and fanciful production are enough for me to put Magick into my regular rotation as well as give me hope that someone from Miami without black paint on their fingernails can one day rise out of The Bawse’s shadow.


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