There is a huge contingent of listeners that whine and moan whenever someone comes around that doesn’t sound like Biggy, Tupac or Nas. These people affix lyricism like a noose around the neck of rap music and are desperate to kick away the ladder. They think they’re the enlightened ones when really they’re rap’s version of the classic rock segment. They’re only interested in the sounds that are safe to them. They’re the irascible relics of an era, confined to the sounds pioneered by the eternal ghosts haunting hip hop. The battle of the coasts are done. There is a whole bunch of new wave aficionados on the block, armed with beat making machinery, vivid imaginations and big ambitions.
They are overthrowing the old guard with viciously melodic rap, infiltrated with a bag of electronic tricks. Anonymous newcomer Felix Conlon is well over on his way to commit to the new wave of rap and is a perfect fit.
I jumped onto his tracks at Soundcloud, and there is no filler to speak of here, each song has a very clear and definable goal and accomplishes it in the most efficient way possible. None of them reach the duration of two minutes. No fat, no waste. This is all lean meat.
“Dark Teak” rides in on a piano dominated production based on the Eiffel65 hit ‘Blue (Da Ba Dee)’. In the background, a rumbling bass sits alongside some skittering trap hi-hats. Felix Conlon hits with an impact expressing an entire universe of emotions in a handful of words without lingering on any subject for than two lines.
His tone is smooth and conversational. Other rappers would build a whole song around one section, Felix just moves on to the next instant quotable. He turns in a universally great microphone performance that would satisfy the majority of new wave rap fans.
“Ms. Gemini” is more urgent and edgy. The bass is abrasive as hell while the keys dance around the mix eerily. The overrunning sensation is a good one; the kind that makes you want to jump around the room, with the bass booming out of your speakers.
When Felix Conlon uses words, they resonate with a puncturing sense of directness and hyper-reality, underpinned by a thread of reckless humor. “Leave 3”, on the other hand, is entirely wrapped in a catchy melody and ringtone effects, as Felix sings his way through the bouncy groove.
While these tracks are oddly diverse in style, they also open the doors to a whole universe of possible future directions for Felix Conlon: Hip-pop, Trap-rap, and whatever the next trendy wave may be. He sounds comfortable and charismatic over his instrumentals, and is probably ready to stretch his boundaries and further expand his aesthetic. He’s a perfect fit for the ever evolving new wave of rap.
Connect with Felix Conlon on SOUNDCLOUD