They say that self-reflection and experience are two tools that pave the way towards wisdom and talent when combined. When looking at rap music, nothing is more true. There’s nothing more repelling than a rapper who gravely overestimates his own qualities or as frustrating as one who is unable to recognize is own talents. North-Carolina based Deniro Farrar is an artist who exemplifies neither of these extremes and has rather found a perfect mean between arrogance and amplified modesty. In an interview late last year, Farrar shared his dismal thought that hip-hop doesn’t even revolve around skills or talent anymore and claimed that ninety percent is all about image these days. He then proceeded to honestly evaluate his own proficiencies to classify himself within the ten percent that does it right, citing himself being positioned in the vicinity of peers such as Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar among others as newcomers who have the ability to set the tone straight. At the same time, he’s also very justly conscious about the fact that he still makes music that is different from his aforementioned colleages. “I touch every genre of rap … A lot of people don’t know how to do that. That’s what separates rappers from artists, I’m an artist.”
As one of the only rappers who maintains such a strong and composed narrative despite his very swift and divergent genre-hopping, Farrar is an artist that deserves a lot more acclaim for his self-released “DESTINY.altered” that dropped three months ago. One of the main reasons why his digital album was such an immaculate and coherent assembly was the many production and artist collaborations that were brought to life on it, with beats being predominantly provided by David Heartbreak and Ryan Hemsworth. While Farrar is in no way a production-dependent rapper, the beat-makers that he chooses to work with act as a definite catalyst to his craft, enhancing his tales to heights beyond their bare substance. Nova Scotian Ryan Hemsworth is unprecedented in this competence, arranging instrumentals which sound like Farrar’s words have been directly translated into melodies that paint empyrean soundscapes that, conjoined with the correlating raps, send us swerving into a higher state of mind. The Shady Blaze featured “Faith In Something” is a track on “DESTINY.altered” that illustrates this concept adeptly. Hemsworth’s profoundly zealous and stripped-down instrumental that courageously samples Rozay’s guest appearance on Drake’s “Free Spirit” provides the perfect canvas for Farrar’s calm words and Shady Blaze’s effortlessly syncopated rhymes. The combination of these two rappers in particular works harmoniously despite the sonic make-up of their raps’ differing quite substantially in their pace, flow, cadence and rhythmic approach to story-telling, also to be found on the up-beat nem270 produced “NWO”.
Consequently it’s no shock that we welcome the news of Deniro Farrar and Shady Blaze forthcoming collaboration EP with open arms. Anticipating its 15 May release, the pair reunited with Ryan Hemsworth joined by G-Side’s ST 2 Lettaz to create “43 Hours In”, a track where Hemsworth provides some of his best work to pillar the caliginous and weighty words of Deniro, Blaze’s straight stream of consciousness and Lettaz’ balancing hook which altogether constitutes the best collaboration track we’ve heard of its kind in recent times. If you haven’t been in the loop on this project, don’t miss out on the Spadez produced “Go To Work” that was released earlier and provides an anthemic hook repping GreenOva accurately. As a bonus, we’ve included some more of Deniro’s recent collaborative work with Flosstradamus and Ryan Hemsworth’s remix for 4AD’s pop wunderkind Grimes to linger in the right mood for the next two weeks while we patiently await these two enormously talented rappers’ joint EP to drop.
Deniro Farrar and Shady Blaze’s collaboration EP will be out on May 15.