Black Lunar is a Hip-hop and R&B artist from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His stylistic inspirations come from artists like J. Cole, Frank Ocean, and Marvin Gaye. His has been dabbling with music since the age of 5 but never released a full-length project until 2022. The 10-track album, “Dreams Don’t Cost a Thing” is the first of many projects to come for the artist. The high bar is smacked again and again on this recording, as Black Lunar and his production team showcase their ability to throw everything at the wall and somehow make it all stick. Black Lunar weaves his way through various styles and sounds, while so much attention has been paid to the way things tessellate, it’s genuinely captivating. Given his unquestionable artistry, it would be especially unfair to expect anything less.
At the heart of “Dreams Don’t Cost a Thing” is the unpacking of Black Lunar’s talents of exuberant proportions. It’s present in the shades of intensity his voice carries between crooning and rapping, the luxurious kinetics of his groove-laden instrumentals, and his starry-eyed joie de vivre. On this album, Black Lunar balances this blueprint by mastering the equilibrium between creativity and accessibility, between vintage and modern, between melody and rhyme.
Black Lunar opens the album with “Appetizer (What’s My Name)” and quickly sets the mood with a classic soulful groove and a laser-sharp flow. The track is awash in golden timbres and spacious, full-blooded textures, as is the following track, “Used to That”.
Both are lush yet artfully edited, unforced yet deliberate. Black Lunar switches the template on “Cost Me A Lot”, bringing in skittering hi-hats and thumping kick drums. On “Poppin” ft. DaVontae, he leans into his tongue twisting flow.
“Look At Me” ft. Krazier holds onto the trap-styled percussion while the instruments grasp at classic-soul chord progressions. On top, the rapping is laser-sharp and resonant.
This is followed by the intro skit “Pardon the interruption interlude” which leads you directly into the bouncy crossover allure of “Say It Like This”. The track highlights Black Lunar’s pure vocal and songwriting abilities, before he unloads both his storytelling and rapping skills on “Can I Be Your Ken”. An absolute highlight has to be the emotional and heartfelt ballad, “Die Alone”, which transports Black Lunar directly into mainstream and chart-topping territory.
Wrapped in an ear warming melody and highly affecting lyrics, this track is literally irresistible, regardless of which genre you’re coming from, or searching for. Black Lunar nails all the candy-coated hooks that will leave you hypnotized. The singer’s nuanced cadence and ear for a mesmerizing melody really elevates this track to another level.
Black Lunar closes the album with the chill swing of “Thanks for understanding”, as he switches between singing and rapping with effortless ease. There’s an immediate natural ease, with which he flips between his deliveries, and this final track sees Black Lunar emerge from this album as a fully and spectacularly formed artist. What kind of a mastermind could put together such a smooth, groovy, yet vibrant album and make it sound effortless from track one?
It’s equally impossible and exciting to try and neatly put the sound of “Dreams Don’t Cost a Thing” into one box, as it slides between genres. Black Lunar is a multi-faceted artist, blending hip-hop, R&B and even soul flavorings. One musical box is simply not enough for him.