Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Indie Music: Kevon Pagis "Delirium"

by Germar Derron

Delirium is deep without sounding deep. It provokes the perfect balance of  head bobbing, bouncing, listening, quoting, and analysis. It's intelligent and "pop," but it's not corny or academic.

The "old heads," specifically the people that don't get Rich Gang and Rae Sremmurd, might appreciate this album. Kevon Pagis is a rapper that actually raps, rhymes, and has something to say. He's closer to J. Cole than K Dot, but not that close. (check "Be Cool")

Generally, the production throughout plays thin and sparse. It's a new school sound, covered by someone who's a mix of everything. He varies his style from track to track, while staying true to his brand. It doesn't always work, but it never feels fabricated. It can be awkward to hear Pagis flow over a 2017 beat with a 1990s cadence. But if you don't like it, check the next track, you'll hear a different dude. This is both good and bad. Bad because you can't really get into the "story" of the album. It always feels a little different. But good because there's something for everyone.

Though I enjoyed the production throughout, the dance and EDM-based tracks got the most spins. "Maria" is the most "fiyah" I've heard outside of a good club plus five Jack and Cokes. It's 2013 dance plus 2001 dance plus 2016 hip-hop and it's NOICE. Unfortunately, it may not be for his audience. Those hot ass dance tracks share a very small percentage of his thousands of SoundCloud plays. That's a shame.

"Jump Out a Window" sounds like the best of today's music. And it's an interesting concept that doesn't quite work. Pagis's energy doesn't match that of the track. On "Type of Shit" he spits, "I got a flow, but I'm always singing." He shouldn't sing--not fr fr. The pitch problems are beyond noticeable. He would do well on a Kanye production, or some big orchestral masterpiece. But bars.

When you title a track "God's Dead," you're asking for trouble. But Pagis does well here by not overreaching. With some production and mix tweaks, "God's Dead" is a legit hit. "Let it Go" and "Dopeamine" combine to form "AF" tracks. "Let it Go" is dope af, and "Dopeamine" is sexy af. They aren't perfect, but they could be. On "Let it Go" Pagis, like all artists at some point, isn't really riding tight in the groove of the beat. And on "Dopeamine" he rides hot, on top of the track, like a bad mix tape. Both can be fixed.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Nice hooks abound. Three of five stars.


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