Prada is a 22 year old creative from Philadelphia, PA. He is a member of the nameless collective including Muppy, Sexualizer, and Tomorrow. Prada forms part of the new wave of alternative rap artists storming the charts and internet platforms worldwide. For a while, I couldn’t figure out what made Prada special. He has an image fitting of rap’s modern moment, and he has the tracks for on-demand streaming, but more casual listeners, like myself, haven’t fully jumped on board, as if an oracle foretold of a much bigger future for the Philly artist. Prada’s material didn’t truly resonate with me until I found myself singing: “I got all these eyes on me. I been packing up my things let’s leave,” on a daily basis. It was then I realized this guy was a kind of weird genius.
The track in question is, “Poison” produced by Sexualizer. Though from a totally different era and musical general, this track reminds of the epic eccentricity of the legendary Frank Zappa. Frank’s work was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture.
One of Zappa’s recurring quotes is: “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” Purposefully or inadvertently, this seems to be Prada’s work motto too, which totally resonates with me. All it takes is one listen to “Poison” before you’re crooning along to the psychedelic beat.
There is no question that Prada has a gift for melody, there’s a catchiness to his work that’s hard to resist. He’s rapper with an alternative aura who is able to translate that style and energy into an odd rap anthem. I think that’s always been the quiet allure of Prada. The question is, how far can he go?
Could he successfully fuse hip-hop and all his personal peculiarities in the trap era and truly speak to all sides of the spectrum? I think he will find comfort and success, somewhere in the middle of the various sounds, as he does on “Poison”. If like me, you’re deeply enthralled by the fusion of musical cultures, you’ll find Prada uniquely intriguing.
In the modern rap landscape, artistic evolution happens in plain sight. Prada’s music is constantly in motion; moving forward and often leaving his competitors behind as they use the same recycled beats and song structures. “Poison” is one of the most tuneful offerings in Prada catalog.
The title is self-explanatory, and the song is a kaleidoscopic two minutes of space-age rapping, a reminder that Prada’s got an uncanny sense of melody and timing, and is firmly part of the Philly lineage of rappers who are really good at sounding like they don’t really ever need to breathe.
I love the capricious and unconventional vibe Prada portrays throughout the record, which brings a revolution to the rhyme schemes and flows, and at the end of the day leaves us with a bunch of infectious and sticky lines that finds a tough time leaving my head. Prada is slowly carving out a singular voice for himself amongst his contemporaries.