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“Big Bands (featuring $tupid Young)” by Star2

Star2 is living that GTA life in the music video for his new single “Big Bands (featuring $tupid Young),” and when you listen to the stylish manner in which he delivers the lyrics in this track, it’s easy to tell he isn’t frontin’. Between Star2 and $tupid Young, the youthful aggression is running high in this track, but rookie-type hesitance is never a factor in their execution. I’ve been following the former for over a year now, and in terms of his collaborative work, this is probably his tightest – and most lyrically rebellious – work to hit the shelves thus far.

This beat is pretty retro, but although it has a familiarity that a lot of other rappers would have preceded to botch with a vocal style that matches up with the old school aesthetic, this doesn’t stop Star2 from putting down something more aggressive and streamlined with his verses here. He knows how far he can push a lyric, and where some wouldn’t have known what to do with a powerhouse like $tupid Young in the studio with them, this player is weaving his dynamic into that of his collaborator’s, which takes skill and technique they don’t teach in any school.

The gloss on the bassline is surprisingly inventive in this setting, and much like the aforementioned structure of the beat, I think this is another area where Star2 can cash in on his contemporaries’ inadequacies. This guy has learned a lot in the short time he’s been climbing through the indie ranks, and with “Big Bands” he’s showing us that even the more predictable of narratives can feel like something fresh and unrecycled when he’s got the microphone in his hands. I’m not discounting $tupid Young here, but there’s no debating who the star of this show really is.

When $tupid Young is cutting up under the spotlight, it’s clear that he’s probably got the greater self-control between these two players, but his style complements that of Star2 in a way a lot of other rappers couldn’t have copped to. Their exchange is straight fire, and although I would have liked a little less percussion in this mix just to emphasize how much intensity both of these vocalists are able to bring to the table when it actually matters, I still think this mix is one that I wouldn’t tinker with too much.

At this point in his young career, Star2 doesn’t need a fancy introduction, a noted sample, or even a big-name collaborator to sell his sound to the hip-hop faithful, and he isn’t even out of the underground scene yet. He’s still growing with the material and the melodic trappings he uses in his work are getting all the more elaborate every time I check out his latest release, but for those who are looking for a promising young voice in rap that isn’t copying the blueprint of someone else in the genre, Star2, and $tupid Young for that matter, need to be in your sphere.

Mindy McCall

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