Colorado has always been on a cultural island when it comes to fitting in with the international music scene, and this has been a good thing for a lot of its best artists – take for example rappers AztroGrizz. While many in their genre have been heavily influenced by the coastal politics that have dominated some of hip-hop’s most legendary rivalries, AztroGrizz has been isolated from the drama and cultivated in the shadows of what has become one of the best-kept secrets in all of indie music – the Denver underground. Their new single “The Colorado Song” pays tribute to this culture, and everything it’s producing today.
The vocals in this track are straight soul and don’t sound like they’ve been over-processed in the same way that almost every trap track I review tends to. If anything, there’s a much more organic undertone to this performance that I’ve been desperate to find in some contemporary hip-hop for a while now, constantly coming up short in the mainstream market. AztroGrizz presents melodicism with a lot of confidence, which makes their entire presentation in this track just all the more believable for the audience and critics the same.
There’s a lot of energy being exchanged here, but it isn’t going unutilized in the grander scheme of things. If anything, there’s something to behold in the raw chemistry AztroGrizz has between their two star players, neither of whom sounds particularly apt at splitting from the other. This is a collaborative genre, and if there’s one thing a piece like this one is able to teach us, it’s that rap’s most honest moments are usually those produced by more than one artist in the studio, which is ironic for a style perceived to be as singular and hedonistic as hip-hop consistently is.
AztroGrizz’s music video for “The Colorado Song” removes us from all of the classic hip-hop stereotypes that have become all too common in the mainstream through the years, instead introducing us to the most efficient offering of self that I’ve seen from a duo this year. You can tell that they’re invested in their scene as well as the style of music they’re playing so well in this performance, and for tracks made in homage such as this one, it’s all the more provocative to hear these guys going as hard after the hook as they are.
I think I speak for a lot of critics and observers alike when I say that AztroGrizz is one of the more exciting pairings you can find in the American underground at the moment, and what they rep in “The Colorado Song” is enough to make just about anyone a fan of their approach to hip-hop. 2022 is all about hybridity, and whether you’re counting their crossover into soul territory with the melodies in this song or simply the fluid pop structure of the hook on its own, there’s a case to be made that few hip-hop collaboratives are rocking the kind of duality this one is right now.
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