Pass the Mic: Kevin Abstract

By Gabrielle Zgrajewski

The American artist, filmmaker and musician, Kevin Abstract is someone to keep your eye on. From the suburbia of Corpus Christi, Texas- to Los Angeles , California, the boy-next-door rapper is taking the indie rap scene by storm.

At only 20 years old, Abstract explores the constant themes of insecurity,  investigates his romances of high school and talks about what he wants from a relationship. This is translated through his sophomore album ‘American Boyfriend’ released in late 2016.

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Influenced by artists such as Frank Ocean, Tyler, The Creator and Kanye West, his music is relative and subjective to the similar styles of music. As each artist holds a very raw and honest view on what message they are trying to communicate, Kevin Abstract accompanies the same method, although with his own essence to his own message.

Two particular songs recommended is “Empty” and “Tattoo” which are both off his album. The major difference between the songs show the versatility of Abstracts musical genres, as “Empty” starts with a melody which seems as if it was taken from a classical song as a sample. Although then takes a similar sound alike Kanye and Tyler, The Creator which channels his influences and how they effect his music.

Whereas, “Tattoo” greets you with an upbeat guitar and light vocal, accompanied by an upbeat hiphop beat. Alike Frank Ocean’s “Self Control” as they both used an upbeat guitar that was successfully used in the songs to contribute to the overall melody and rhythm. With a resemblance between both songs by Abstract, the use of classical music samples throughout, as well as the use of a beat to rap over, both channel very different vibes, although a similar concept. Each of Abstract’s songs share similar qualities of both songs, which almost create a heavenly cross over between indie pop/rock and rap.

Also a member of the band BROCKHAMPTON which is described as an “All-American Boy Band”, Abstract has many projects to keep an eye on as an interesting artist. Included in his efforts so far, he has also released merchandise you can buy here and also created a new web series called “Helmet Boy” which you can find here. (Only two episodes released so far).

Another one of his projects from late 2016 was an “All-American Drive-In Prom” for those kids who never got to go to prom. Just after a month of releasing his album, the prom was held in Los Angeles, which had guests including The Neighbourhood, Jayden Smith, Tyler, The Creator and Roy Maibe. This was a chance for the kids of the area to be in a carefree space and support Abstract and Brockhampton during their free show which had reached its capacity with people still waiting to get inside.

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The reason as to why he is one to keep an eye on is because he is for more than just the hip-hop scene. As he continues to talk about the issues and themes in his music, it creates a platform and a reason to talk about certain issues (e.g., homosexuality) in a comfortable way or be able to relate to someone who went through similar things.

Keep an eye out for Kevin Abstract, as one who can bring so much joy to those around him, and at a time so scary for some, the way he goes about voicing his opinion and the problems he faced can raise hope for others.

BUY AMERICAN BOYFRIEND HERE

Tracklist:

1. Empty
2. Seventeen
3. Blink
4. Friendship
5. Tattoo.
6. Yellow
7. Suburbian Born
8. Kin
9. Runner
10. Flintridge
11. Papercut
12. June 29th
13. Miserable America
14. American Boyfriend
15. Echo
16. I Do (End Credits)

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