L.A. wunderkind Austin W. Anderson (fka Austin Feinstein) quickly made a name for himself as a guitarist working with Tyler, The Creator and Frank Ocean. His band Slow Hollows creates hazy post-punk songs that’ll get you in your feelings, and they’re back with the glittery “Lessons For Later.”
The grass still hasn’t grown back around the stages where Odd Future used to play. Among that wild gang one voice stood out from the rest: Tyler, The Creator was the most menacing, the most magnetic and the most promising of the OFWGKTA collective. A few years later, that promising, magnetic and dangerous artist is a reality. Tyler Gregory Okonma barks and bites like no other MC, and here we are not only speaking about the Odd Future gang. In each and every one of his verses he lights a fuse that explodes in the final rhyme. In these times in which hyper-connection ends up condemning us to non-communication, fury, angst, indignation and the truth will be rapped by Tyler, The Creator or it won’t be.
When you reach the end of an A$AP Rocky record, you can imagine him walking unperturbed towards the camera while everything he leaves behind him explodes. Like all the best action films, the music is pure entertainment: adrenalin highs, spectacular moments, timely slow-motion or high speed tension, sentimental digressions, food for thought… A feast of ideas and sound discoveries that are only within the reach of an artist who is conscious that he is at the top of his game. This is only a partial portrait of Rakim Mayers: he is the REAL DEAL. He directs his own videos (and those of any of the A$AP Mob family), he turns each and every one of his verses into an urban poetry Faberge egg; he produces under the pseudonym Lord Flacko (or variations including Pretty Flacko) under which he collaborates with Rihanna, The Black Eyed Peas, Alicia Keys, Tyler, The Creator and Lana del Rey; he can go from a frenetic staccato on one track and move into teasing boudoir confessions on the next. There are not many artists with the authority to afford such luxuries. Why can he? Because he can. Because he is the man.