It can be pretty difficult to gauge the potential of an artist just based on their studio work alone; in an ideal scenario, hearing what someone can do on the stage is more than preferable, but in the new single “TMH,” Echezona manages to successfully circumvent much of the negative backdrop that a studio performance can leave a player as ambitious as he is with.
Ironically enough, Echezona isn’t even an alternative rapper – his sound is straight trap in “TMH,” and I would even say that he has less in common with the melodic rappers evolving out of the west coast than he does the east coast trap purists who would never stand for his hybrid aesthetics any day of the week. This man doesn’t care about the trends or where the rest of the group is going; he wants us to remember his name and his name alone in this performance, and by planting his flag as deep in the ground via a system of beats, lyrics, and attitude exclusively, he’s making a lot of the other artists he’s up against for the spotlight look like woeful amateurs this June.
I think it’s rather obvious that contrast matters to Echezona a lot, but he’s not over the top with his use of juxtaposition in “TMH.” On the contrary, he’s sparing with any aesthetical element he’s employing in this single, and even making it a little difficult for critics to accuse him of being an all-out trap player.
There’s a lot of swagger in this song, and it’s not being limited to what this vocalist is putting on us with the mic in his hands; it reminds me of the full-spectrum style that a lot of OGs experimented with some twenty-five years ago, though it’s a bit more refined in this scenario than it ever was back then. Not an inch of sonic space is going unutilized here, and I’d even say that some of the other rising stars in indie hip-hop today could learn something from the efficiency Echezona is bringing into the fold for this single and its music video.
Though I wasn’t familiar with who Echezona was just a couple of weeks ago, I’ve concluded that he’s one of the more adept rappers in the eastern half of the United States dropping critical content worth taking a second look at this spring. I’d like to hear what he can do with a slower beat, perhaps something inspired a little more by G-funk than the blistering crossover trap he’s pulling up with here, but no matter what he decides to pop out of the studio next, my gut tells me it’s going to draw a big reaction from fans and critics the same. Echezona’s got the personality, the charisma, and the right kind of soul to do some epic things in this industry, and at this point, he’s on my must-watch radar as an audiophile as well as someone who lives and dies for great rap music.