If you used the terms ‘alternative’ or ‘experimental’ hip-hop in past decades, you were speaking of something completely different than what we’ve got in 2018. Alternative sounds in hip-hop are becoming the norm, and outliers in modern rap are branching out further and further from the traditional boom-bap of the ’80s and the gritty styles of the ’90s. The internet has united all forms of music and strangely, some of the most cohesive scenes exist only on the web. But that hasn’t stopped the prosperity of weirdness. From outsider vets who are finally getting their props, to upcoming artists who never followed traditions.
Yung Thes a.k.a. YTthaWolf is a hip hop, R&B, and pop artist from Dallas, Texas who falls somewhere in between. An instrumentalist, Yung Thes states that he is a loner, and an ambivert. He grabs his sound form a number of sources on the edges of alternative and experimental music.
Unlike other acts that pay homage to hip-hop’s nostalgia, Young Thes, offers a genuinely compelling spin on the genre. Challenging, with piercing walls of synths and obtuse samples, his eclectic production is as heavily indebted to a personalized kind of musique concrète style, on his latest track “Voices”.
Technically gifted in a creative sense, his impressive flurry of sounds and voices impact the listener with an overwhelming power at first. Daring without paying tribute to the norms of hip-hop, Yung Thes will appeal to the extremes of the music spectrum, refusing to compromise in any regard.
Sounding satirical, smart, and thought-provoking, his unique style of rapping is what will reel you in, but the production is what will keep you around, as you try to figure out how all of this was put together. Combining disparate influences isn’t always a good idea, but when it really works the results can be pretty goddamn special.
Yung Thes takes the worlds of hip-hop, alternative and experimental, and twists them together so tightly that it’s tempting to give his music a new tag altogether. His work has been slowly progressing over the last 3 years, but now as “Voices” rolls out, it’s clear that he is finding his own niche.
“Voices” is one of the most fascinating and diverse Hip-hop releases of the year so far, and is further proof that being alternative or experimental in hip-hop doesn’t always have to mean being abrasive. The sound here, though intensely busy in places – between rolling percussion and layered vocals – still maintains a dominant melodic streak.
Enough mainstream and indie hip-hop has already been made to last a lifetime of listening, so coming with something unique gets more and more necessary to stand out from the crowd. With the release of “Voices”, Yung Thes may just get the traction he is looking for.