Few local debuts in any genre were met with as much anticipation as Blue, the Misfits Child in the Wild.
A member of the boundary-pushing Brain Gang collective, the man born Brandon Blue is accustomed to being at or near the forefront of whats next in DFW hip-hop, and with the release of this stunning debut LP, he cements his position as one of the areas true innovators (and not just because he partnered with Red Bull to offer Wild for free download).
Child in the Wild is an incredible piece of work, showcasing Blue, the Misfits eclectic style, weaving in some impressive guests Fort Worth is well represented by the World Famous Tony Williams and Snow Tha Product (whose cameo on the Under Pressure-sampling Love is dazzling), with Sam Lao, both halves of A.Dd+ and X the Misfit also turning in solid spots and delivering one of the years great tracks with the kinetic, moody All Systems Go. Much like A.Dd+s masterful 2013 epic DiveHiFlyLo, Child in the Wild is a vivid demarcation line for North Texas hip-hop.
Vincent Neil Emerson, self-titled
Less than a minute is all it takes for Fort Worth troubadour Vincent Neil Emerson to make a powerful impression, singing of smelling heartache on [his] breath in Lady Luck, the first of four tracks found on his new eponymous EP, recorded with
Robby and Jennifer Rux of Dreamy Soundz Luke McGlathery.
Emersons voice is backed by nothing more than acoustic guitar, but throughout this 13-minute showcase, the 21-year-old repeatedly demonstrates a flair for evoking lifes extremes love, death in economical, emotional language. ( Easy to Die even packs a heartrending twist into its three and a half minutes: A life can be so long/So dont you close them eyes, Emerson pleads.) Its a striking collection, and one which suggests a star being born.
[Correction: An earlier version of this review misstated the producer's name. Luke McGlathery produced Vincent Neil Emerson. We regret the error.]