Photo Credit: Teithis Miller Photography
“Style is whatever you want to do…that is, if you can do it with confidence.” –KnowledgeΔustin
18-year-old KnowledgeΔustin is unique in that while beaming with youthful exuberance, his new project feels like the beat selection was made by an artist in his thirties. The Sarasota, Florida, native—and son of a DJ—has been at it for five years now, but Hip-$oul is his most interesting collection of tracks, that includes a handful of original production mixed with ‘dubs.’ I’ll double down on my original point in that the tracks he did choose to remake were ones that I’d never heard tackled, especially not by a cat his age.
A few examples include “My Mind Made Up,” a remake of the Daz Dillinger produced posse cut off of 2Pac iconic Deathrow debut. His version, though, is made his own, with the sing-song chorus addition, sandwiched between a story of a lost relationship, and a good friend trying to get his mind off of it by pushing him to talk to some girls. Two of the strongest records are “Changes,” with its soulful vibe and “70(5ive)” with it’s seductive down south bass and chunky guitar riffs. The latter is the most standalone vibe on the project.
The (too) short “OTP is a highlight should you at all question is ‘hip-hop,’ with bars like “Blasting Illmatic out of a 2000 Pontiac, windows down, cause the left passenger side is broke down.”
The project’s title is aptly explained in an interlude that likens “Hip-$oul” to the same feeling you get when you get that new car or score a date with the girl you thought was out pf your league; essentially, the project’s entire concept is a euphemism for feeling good. It lives up to this, with its unique vibe that while not wholly original, definitely stands out in the current wave of releases. Whether talking about a drug raid on his home (“Reminisce”), or tackling more introspective themes, KnowledgeΔustin delivers honesty and good vibes.