As a music lover, I took a long departure from the world of hip hop. In high school, you’d often find me cruising around, bumping Wu Tang’s Enter the 36 Chambers of Death or Picture This from Chi-town’s Do or Die. Something about the the combination between lyrical creativity and unique variations in flow seemed to capture my attention at the age of 16, and there wasn’t really much that could take me away from that.
As I grew older, my love for booming bass and intricate word play faded. While my affinity for hip hop was never gone, it was never quite what it had once been. Finding solace in complicated timing signatures found in math rock, or the simplistic nature of a folk singer possessing nothing more than an acoustic guitar, my tastes evolved over the years, slowly straying away from what I had once loved.
At the age of 30, I’m as well rounded as I’ve ever been. Delving back into hip hop, I have the pleasure of exploring some of the lesser known artists, steering clear of the garbage spewed on the radio on a day to day basis. One up and coming artist that I’ve come to truly appreciate is Arlington based Johnny Astro.
Bravely infusing blogosphere smash hits into his beats, this young Texan does what so many young EDM producers do, by grabbing indie tunes and flipping the script. In his most recent release, Zeus: Chapter 1 Astrology, Astro has some flawless sampling for those well-rounded music lovers to grasp onto.
In the lead track, we’re left in awe listening to Ry X’s “Berlin,” which devastated the internet with it’s stunning vocals and intense simplicity. Racking up over 1.1 million plays, this tune boasts a difficult task when looking at re-working. Astro does so with undeniable ease, pairing up his flow with each percussion hit, proving he’s not intimidated to take on challenging feats.
One of our other favorite tracks in this newly released project is “Wonderful Life”, which features a other-worldly sound, rife with delicate yet clashing harp work, leaving the listener charmed with the elevated lyrical journey that Astro brings to the table. What comes to fruition is a perfect jam for a nice set of subs and some open road.
The independent hip hop scene is alive and well in the blogosphere, and one thing is for certain: Mr. Astro is here to represent Texas in this online realm of music.