In his book Hit Makers, author Derek Thompson unceremoniously drops this gold nugget of wisdom: “The chaos of life is a chronic condition for which stories are the remedy.” First of all, whoa. Secondly, what, then, are the stories we tell ourselves? For me, the story I tell myself is that the myriad of little, daily decisions I make as a recent LA transplant will pay dividends in the long run. In other words, I convince myself that I’m working towards something, and there’s nothing particularly unique about my story. It is the same one that’s been sold to us by society: hard work pays off. But what if it doesn’t? This tape is about being new to a place, having self doubt, and being a tad bit delusional in the pursuit of your calling.
NOTE: SoundCloud is missing track 15 (“Hurt” by Eyukaliptus).
I think I am going to need to prelude this writeup by saying that I do not pop xannies and do not condone the abuse of prescription medication. The purpose of this tape is simply to highlight a growing trend in rap music. It is not surprising that the effects of the 21st century prescription drug culture has trickled into the rap scene, and I would argue that much like Wiz Khalifa makes certifiably dank weed rap, artists like Lucki Eck$ and Jimmy Prime (formerly Jimmy Johnson) make “xanny rap.” As you will notice, the mix is not all rap music. I tried to space out the journey and the rewards of hearing some of the trippiest rap music being made (Also, “Lilly” by Toro y Moi is a wave). If you’re an impatient bastard, tracks 11 through 14 show the heart of the phenomena.
When I’m off all these bars I should be behind some bars
*SoundCloud mix is missing track 6 (“Lilly” by toro y moi)
Chester Watson is a rapper and producer who is only 18 years old and has at least 3 years of experience under his belt. He is the leader of Nü Age Syndicate, a creative collective based out of Florida, where Watson was born. Recently, I have been playing “Museums” from his recent Summer Mirage EP for my friends, and every time I get asked, “Who is this?.” Now, if you understand the politics of music delivery via the aux cord, then you know that a song has to be pretty fucking great to be asked “Who is this?,” the highest order compliment available to an unknown track. “Museums” wouldn’t sound particularly out of place on Earl Sweatshirt‘s new album I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside. Then again, it sounds right at home on Watson’s own brooding masterpiece the Summer Mirage EP, which you can stream below.
Stream the rest of Chester Watson’s Summer Mirage EP below, and buy it here.
Chester Watson is 15 years old, but in his track, Phantom, he sounds like he has the matured sound of 19 year old Joey Bada$$. It seems like rappers are becoming famous when they are younger and younger and Chester is no exception. He has already released three mixtapes packed with sick lyrical cuts as well as instrumentals produced by Watson himself. In Phantom, Watson lays down a ominous dark flow over a real vintage boom bap beat. Watson possesses an incredibly fluid rhyme scheme in his raps, every word he speaks is delicately picked out but his style remains incredible natural. Right now he is only 15, I can’t start to imagine what this kid could accomplish before he graduates high school. Stay tuned to Chester Watson.
Enjoy the track and hit the jump to see the video, and be sure to check out Watson’s links below. Don’t sleep on this kid.