Andre Blaack, born Andre Williams, Jr., is the oldest of seven children. He was born in Frankfurt, Germany, and spent his early years in Tignall, Georgia. In 1994, due to the death of his mother and some unforeseen circumstances, Blaack and his brother Quinn moved to Alaska to live with their father. After high school, and to remove himself from the influences of the street, he enlisted in the military and served the US for nearly 4 years, rising from Private First Class to the rank of E-5. He finally discharged from the Army in 2006, and some years later began building a career in music. He adopted the stage name “Blaack”, after considering that he had lost his mother, grandmother, and younger brother Antonio, in Tignall, Georgia, while they were all living on “Blaack Bottom Street.”
Andre Blaack is releasing his brand new EP entitled, “Glass House”, and it’s a stunner. The recording will probably please a wide range of hip-hop and rap fans, as it contains conscious verses, absolute anthems, banging beats and a palpable veil of spirituality. In so much music today, the narrative around success and acceptance is about accomplishing what others have already accomplished and falling in line with the mainstream and replicating its ideals. Blaack is all about creative and professional freedom from major label structures.
But that doesn’t mean “Glass House” pushes boundaries in alternative leftfield, of experimental ways. It has the bigness and accessibility of a major hip-hop album, thanks in part to the superb features like Zoya Bukha, Dawn McClain, HumblMe and Caleb Allen, as well as the top notch production. The EP has an underlying Christian aura running through its duration, but “Glass House’s” sustained message of finding strength within – however you do that – feels potent given Andre Blaack’s exaltation of independence.
“Glass House” comes at a time when the biggest hip-hop stars are looking deep into their musical and cultural heritage, a trend that’s perhaps unsurprising in a country where policemen regularly get away with murder, and a president refuses to disown white supremacists. Often times Blaack looks further than any musical or cultural heritage to search for elucidation, which he carefully shares in unspoken spiritual hues. And then in others, like the EP’s opening track “GOA”, he spells things it out rather candidly.
Mixed with today’s most cutting-edge rhyming and the emotional music that symbolizes our future, the lush and powerful “Don’t Wanna Know” ft Zoya Bukha, attempts to move hip-hop past its current state and into the Heavens. “Better and Better” takes a deep and introspective look at family commitment, while the two tracks featuring Dawn McClain – “In The Valley” and “Help Me” are among the most hypnotically engaging hip-hop songs I’ve heard all year. They feature captivating rhymes by Blaack, soulful hooks and a pair of hard-hitting beats that could go shoulder to shoulder with the best quality, major label productions can offer.
“Story Of My Life” ft. Zoya Bukha is another wondrous track where the female vocals and Blaack’s flow will leave you in absolute awe. Almost nothing about this EP will remind it’s an independent recording, except the creative freedom which is always on the boil throughout. If you need something to listen to while you’re on your ride, then switch up the volume on “Ain’t Me” ft. HumbleMe, and let the bass blow your woofers out.
“Come Too Far” ft. Caleb Allen closes the EP on a high note with an uplifting and inspiring anthem that wants to look beyond life’s losses, struggles and defeats. Spirituality and the will to triumph, are two fundamental elements in Andre Blaack’s psychological make-up, and they keep coming at you throughout “Glass House”. You can disagree, but you cannot ignore that Andre Blaack is a valuable player in the game right now!