Candid Taxonomy: Chester Watson’s “Honestly”

The preternaturally talented Watson channels St. Future Hendrixx of Georgia.
By    May 14, 2015

Chester Watson

Max Bell doesn’t do attempts. 

Chester Watson doesn’t defy categorization.  An 18-year-old Floridian who rhymes and produces with a dexterity at once prodigious and practiced, he remains one of rap’s best-kept secrets. Even when he doesn’t rhyme, he’s a motherfucking beast.

His latest dart is “Honestly”. It’s four months old and better than the majority of your Soundcloud stream. Kanisono and BZKT provide the backdrop. Steel blades clash ceaselessly; the drums are Jumanji; the melody drips like a pipe in some alternate universe where RZA’s studio was never flooded. Watson rhymes subterranean, his malevolent monotone just high enough in the mix that you can make out the contorted syllables. When the uninitiated strain to hear, he kills and watches the blood trickle, gnawing on their flesh in unrepentant silence. Honestly, this is rap as alchemy, the transformation of acid, spliffs, and other opiates into a cryptic and carnivorous missive on the benefits of self-imposed isolation. Theriac or toxin—the choice is yours.


Later this month, Watson will perform at Soundset. After that, you can catch him opening for GZA in Paris at the Macki Music Festival. That’s his latest instrumental installment, Guru Vol. 4, above. Listen, download, and label it however you see fit.

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