Hip-hop has come a long way since its mid-seventies genesis in the community centres and halls of South Bronx. But all genres have to evolve, and the art of doing so is the ability to offer something new whilst still appealing to fans of the traditional sounds of the scene.
And that is precisely what LA’s Shawn Cook does on his latest single, Stay. Bass beats pulse like depth charges, skittering trap percussion drives the momentum and Cook’s vocals run across the top in a brooding yet confident fashion, at times waxing lyrical crescendoes, at others whispering conspiratorially in the listener’s ear.
The song draws a line back through all incarnations of rap and hip-hop to its earliest pioneers and opens the door to where the genre goes next. Sometimes traditions need rewriting, but you need to do so deftly and creatively and if you want to know what that sounds like, give Stay a spin. It’s hip-hop’s future.
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