Steve Lacy & Kevin Abstract Deliver New Music
Written by Chris Ramos on April 21, 2019
Steve Lacy- “N Side” (Single)
Smooth with “in your face” sensualism are the words that sum up this cut.
Singer/guitarist Steve Lacy has been relatively silent since his debut project, Steve Lacy’s Demos, which was released in 2017. A short collection of songs, yes, but takes such as “Dark Red”, “Some” & “Ryd” were home runs. They displayed exceptional vocals backed with soul and funk.
Lacy has also been busy crafting similar sounds with The Internet as they released their fourth studio album, Hive Mind, last July. A worth-while listen, If I may say so.
“N Side” resumes the seductive soul that was present on his demos. Lacy’s lyrics talk of passionate intimacy, plain and simple. It doesn’t take much reading between the lines to realize that, also, the title is a sexual reference in itself. He delivers his message lightly, backed by R&B chords and a steady rhythm.
It’s an easy listen, as I’m sure it’s intended to be. It isn’t going to leave you blown away, but it’ll definitely set a mood. Lacy is probably due for an album soon and one can only hope it’ll contain more ambitious cuts such as “Dark Red”.
Kevin Abstract- Ghettoboy (EP)
Where do we even begin?
First of all, the loose ends have been acknowledged. It seems as though Kevin didn’t get everything off of his chest on BROCKHAMPTON’s iridescence record which was released this past Septemeber. It was evident following the release of “Big Wheels”, “Joy Ride” and “Georgia” last week.
The three songs were bundled under the title “ARIZONA baby” which is actually the title of Abstract’s upcoming solo album. On Thursday, he decided to unveil three more songs titled “Corpus Christi”, “Baby Boy”, and “Mississippi”
The songs are forged by anxiety and personal distress, presenting Kevin at his most vulnerable. That isn’t surprising, after all, Kevin has been known to be vocal about ongoing personal turmoil in previous solo works and songs with BROCKHAMPTON.
But again, he is given more space this time around as opposed to a collective effort which can be constricting.
“Big Wheels” is a short intro with a spacey instrumental that closes with lovely string arrangements and brass. Kevin Abstract addresses the grim reality of BROCKHAMPTON becoming too big for its own good and that financial hurdles still exist, alluding to his mother having to work despite the success. He also dismisses the accusations that claim he is using his sexuality to garner more attention and money from the LGBTQ+ community.
“Baby Boy” is an absolute gem. Good god, I cannot stress that fact enough. It’s melodic, pure, full of sincerity and it does not overstay its welcome. Ryan Beatty sings the chorus which has an infectious cadence, sure to have you moving along. It stems from an unreleased BROCKHAMPTON song. Without a doubt, it is the lightest moment on the EP and an admirable change in pace. It is also a testament to Abstract’s ability to produce refreshing pop music.
“Georgia” and “Corpus Christi” are the introspective anthems, the latter bringing attention to a topic that’ll hit home with many fans.
“Georgia” also displays a stellar melody like “Baby Boy”, and its message is nostalgia-ridden. Abstract reflects on his youth and BROCKHAMPTON’s humble beginnings. He also hints at the fact that nothing lasts forever, including the group.
“I’m prayin’ for my friends, they prayin’ this won’t end
But I know it does, just like all things
In the end, it’s just me and my mood swings.”
On “Corpus Christi”, Kevin Abstract name drops Ameer Vann, who departed BROCKHAMPTON last year following sexual misconduct allegations. This is the first direct mention of Vann.
“I wonder if Ameer think about me, or what he think about me.”
Abstract even dishes out another name drop, this time an apology, to member Dom McLennon.
“I’m sorry Dom, I probably shouldn’t be puttin’ all our problems on the front lawn.”
It’s quite clear that Abstract is sensitive and mindful of his fellow friends. In regards to Ameer, his acknowledgment further bolsters the idea of how important he was to the group. More than just a member, Vann was family. He was a young, wide-eyed kid chasing after endless possibilities just like the rest of the group. There is no doubt that the decision to part ways with Vann was gut-wrenching but it needed to be done. One can only hope, as time goes on, that Vann and Abstract can rekindle their friendship.
“Georgia” and “Corpus Christi” is where you’ll find the bulk of Abstract’s burdens and they’re spilled unto the instrumentals without hesitation. Fantastic tracks.
In all honesty, the high energy “Joy Ride” fails to make much of an impact. The repetitive horns and spazzy flow is a bit too much to digest. It’s not a bad song by any means, but I think it pales in comparison to the other tracks. In its defense, it’ll definitely be a go-to summer song for many people. “Mississippi” plays out as generic filler. Again, it’s not a bad song but there’s nothing that stands out. It feels as though that the template for the song was copied and pasted from other ballads that Kevin and BROCKHAMPTON have recorded. That’s not to say that the lyrics aren’t noteworthy, because they are; however, it’s muddled by voice distortion.
With all of that being said, Kevin Abstract is unto something as he always has been. He’s restless in his approach, despite all of the hurdles that are intertwined with life. Ghettoboy may lose its footing at times, but its strongest moments far outshine its weakest. Abstract plans to release his studio album next week.