“I want y’all to feel my pain, I want y’all to hear my heart… God pitching the ball, Imma hit it out the park..”
Raleigh, North Carolina has seen it’s share of (hip-hop) talent over the years. Artists like the almighty J.Cole, and backpack-rap demi-gods Little Brother have roots in the “city of oaks”. I’d like to introduce you all to a new voice hailing the city – Descendent. I featured this brother a while back in the #UnsignedHype section but wanted to delve a little deeper into his work.
His debut album, Road to Greatness: Journey of a Lost Soul, is an excellent body of work. It’s an an eclectic mix of bassy trap sounds on songs like Road To the Future and Break The Cycle, 90’s boom bap on songs like Too Easy and Trouble, and soulful hip-hop beats on songs like I’m Ready and Soul – which almost brings to mind the early work of hometown hero 9th Wonder. The mixture of sounds is very organic, which makes it hard to pinpoint if he’s “stronger” when concentrating on one particular sound. Nothing sounds forced – and although he switches up the sonic-sub genre, he never wavers from his message or personal style/flow. He’s honest, insightful, and very real. He focuses on positive messages, stories of struggle, determination and moral-filled lyrics that paint a very clear picture of who he is as a person – and an artist.
His dedication to his craft – and values – is best summed in the two skits on the project. In the second last one, which is a preamble to the album closer Soul, he’s told he should “live the life” and make a more commercially viable brand of hip-hop. He responds only with, “ I don’t want to be another lost soul.” This sentiment is expressed throughout Road to Greatness: Journey of a Lost Soul. For a debut project, it’s exceptionally polished and self-aware. Descendent is one to keep an eye on.