Will Hagle still kicks it with Quddus

Kevin Abstract is a digital native. He presents himself as a child of the web, from his website to his location description on Twitter, which reads, simply, “internet.”

That location description seems accurate especially for Kevin Abstract but also for anyone listening and talking about music in 2014. If you’re reading this site you already know the web is a self-contained hub for music consumption, discussion and sharing. MTV1987 would be an ironic album title if Kevin Abstract didn’t want to be Michael Jackson.

Kevin Abstract is also upfront about his devotion to more contemporary artists like Kanye, Kid Cudi, and even Frank Ocean. Elements of all three can be detected throughout MTV1987, with the sprawling 808s and Heartbreaks synth beats combining with Ocean R&B vocals and Cudi depression raps. “Snakes” is the most standard rap song, and even it lasts nearly seven minutes long and a lot of yelping.

The production was done by a guy named romil, a beatmaker who knows how to let synths take the lead without being overbearing. romil is also impressive for the scatterbrained way he structures each track, allowing them to expand for lengthy runtimes with frequent changes in beats and overall tone. That’s only used as a crutch in a couple instances — the second half of “Hell / Heroina,” for instance, makes up for the dubstep build-up of the first.

Kevin Abstract also vocalizes his awareness of the way the first half of that track sounds, discussing his decision to flee from the tuition fees of college in order to pursue his dream to be Bieber by the fall. The song switches beats after an abrupt interruption of the typing noises that can be heard throughout the album, another reminder of the Internet’s influence and the ADD that comes with it.

Kevin Abstract might be considered Generation Y like myself, but generations may not even be a thing anymore now that all culture is accessible and preserved online. Pop stars aren’t what they were in 1987, but Kevin Abstract and his Alive Since Forever crew are gunning for the 2014 equivalent.

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