Young Orpheus is an 18 year old rapper/producer from Delaware. His latest release, is the 7 song EP, entitled “Distant”. He is one of the absolute most surprising young artists out right now. He writes, records and produces all of his own music. This is quite the feat. He really poured his heart and soul into this project, and it shows with each song when he takes listeners into the deepest, darkest parts of his introspective stories. On this EP, Young Orpheus mines emotional depths and exorcises personal demons with a lucidity and sincerity seldom heard these days on contemporary hip-hop records. Whether or not this recording grants him mainstream attention remains to be seen. But regardless of how bright the spotlight shines on him in the weeks and months and years to come, it’s reassuring to know that Young Orpheus is destined to embrace the vicissitudes of his personal and professional life, without compromising the purity and integrity inherent within his distinctive musical vision.
With the beginning of the decade came many fresh hip hop faces. Talents like Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole and A$AP Rocky emerged to carry the torch passed down by artists who enjoyed their prime during the 2000s. Currently we’re caught up in the vortex of Trap and mumble rap.
So when a talent as pure as Young Orpheus steps up to the mic and behind the boards, we need to sit up listen before they lose themselves in the vortex. If you haven’t heard of Young Orpheus, it’s really not your fault. He is an exciting new artists with lyrical prowess and an ear for soulful layered beats. And he’s just popped up on my radar now.
Without the politics and drama of a major label Young Orpheus has been able to fully explore his potential on “Distant”. This in return, has helped him create a body of work that will be remembered as a defining point in his career.
The disc is packed with cinematic soundscapes that will turn your speakers into absolute dynamic monsters. From the moment the drums on “Concrete” start thumping, Young Orpheus does not let up. His flow is smooth, his wordplay focused, and his intent is to weave you into his emotional web.
“Love Issues” is painful and personal, letting you see the vulnerabilities the narrator experiences. The style of music transitions to something more mellow and soulful. Young Orpheus’ lyrical skills shine through, touching on relatable subject matter with beautifully constructed verses.
In hip-hop, you usually have two camps: those who listen to whatever mumble rapper is trending, and those who value the craftsmanship and skill rap takes. If you fall in the second category, this is a project you can’t miss. Sink your senses deep into the track “Distance”, and just let yourself go with it. This is rap at an elite level.
Things get a little harder, dirtier and explicit on “Been Awhile” and “Shout Out”, but the soft and sensual soundscapes of “Lie For Me” and “Love Games” keep the tones in a dreamy hypnotic state, notwithstanding the candid rhymes, exceeding all possible expectations. Every song boasts keen personal commentary and reflective lyrical substance.
Young Orpheus continuously speaks his mind and bares his soul, earning his seat among hip-hop’s true spitters. Littered with soulful, proud production and intricate lyricism that toes the line between alpha dog bravado and a stripped down soul-bearing vulnerability that makes for an incredibly solid music project, is reason enough to warrant a serious listen.