Thanks to Austin Antoine for You’re Very Welcome

The new album from renowned underground performer and Hodgepodge artist Austin Antoine does not disappoint. Produced, mixed and mastered by the talented Mister-he and sporting a gorgeous cover by Amy LeeYou’re Very Welcome opens with a sense of narrative foreshadowing, teasing the listener with things to come. Vocal processing, lush production, anything goes. You know we’re sonically referencing heroes here, just as the opening monologue suggests, but you’re not sure which ones. Is this Andre 3000 at his most spacey? Gambino at his most theatric? We’ll see.

Wasting no time, Antoine’s first full track is the classic banger, self aware on several levels. We discuss the artist’s place in the scene; we’re assured the artist is young and strong, connected but humble. The rhymes flow, the chorus bangs, the beat bumps. This track knows what it is, and Antoine wants everyone to make sure we know where we’re at.

With Streets of Broken Dreams, Antoine starts to throw the listener some curves. This beat swings pretty heavily, and one can almost imagine some old music-man with white gloves, a cane and skimmer hat, airing out biting sarcasm as if the suffering performer’s woes are just another part of the show.

As the album progresses, it seems like Antoine starts to introduce this crazy new idea where he’s more than “just” a rapper. He’s a performer, and he’s got the pipes to prove it. I love when an artist has put some real thought into their track order, and it’s no accident that the hints of Austin singing toward the end of the woo-me track Summer Days leads into the astoundingly soulful interlude, Kelsey. Contrapuntal, a cappella melodies sung entirely by Austin take us deeper down the rabbit hole, exploring into what hip hop means besides some dude rapping over beats. With You’re Very Welcome, Antoine is taking the listener through a lesson in first impressions. Every artist has a journey that transcends genre, and few albums I’ve heard capture that concept as well as this one.

Got a problem with his singing? Unless you’re Nas (or even then, maybe) you better get over it. That’s the message in Rahzel/Aaliyah, a raw callback track that says, who gives a shit? Austin knows where he’s coming from, and he knows he can freestyle circles around anyone who steps to him. How many rappers out there can use the words “Guinness World Record” in their list of accolades? He’s been killing it for years, but this album is a new step for Antoine. He has accomplishments to back up his confidence. Listen to POWER!!, and tell me you’ve heard anything like this before. Just like with the intro, we know this style is coming from somewhere, from Austin’s heroes, but amalgamated into that dope freshness that speaks for itself. Hell yeah he likes video games, and hell yeah he’s watched Dragonball Z, and hell yeah he can rap like a beast.

You’re Very Welcome represents the new breed of artist. We don’t know if it’s hip hop. We don’t even know if it’s a record. It’s a work done by an individual who is navigating this strange new experience of becoming a performing adult with integrity amidst peers who don’t remember a time without email. Austin has really captured a moment here, and demonstrated tremendous personal growth in a truly relevant release.

You can follow Austin on his website, SoundcloudTwitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can find him on Hodgepodge Records, and you can pay what you want for You’re Very Welcome at his Bandcamp.

Austin Antoine

The new Boss RC-505 and my cover of Swimming Pools (Drank) by Kendrick Lamar

The Boss RC-505 Loop Station is my newest purchase, funded in part by my Patreon page, which is amazing. I also have a new SD card! That’s three milestones down because of my Patrons. Woohoo! Thanks!

The RC-505 is my first real looper, as in not a delay pedal like my old also-Boss Giga Delay. It has five channels, each with a mix fader, a stop/start/rec/overdub button, and an edit button which is related to post-FX. There’s another knob for pre-FX and three memory slots for those FX, which is awesome. It has a built in customizable metronome and, best of all, PHANTOM POWER!! This means for the first time in my life I can loop using my nicer, more powerful microphones. Serious game changer, as you can see in the above video I’ve just released!

The ability to stop and start tracks is a huge deal, and really allowed me to delve into Kendrick’s song. It’s much easier now for me to cover full songs, meaning won’t have to pull a Spy Vs. Spy any more like in the BANKS video (as much fun as that was).

Swimming Pools (Drank) is really amazing. It turns the hip hop/club trope of having songs about alcohol on its head. Instead, the song is about the peer pressure to drink when you don’t want to and/or have already had too much. The production on the track is extremely lush, so you can see in the video how much I’m riding the Boss pedal’s reverb levels for different sections of the song. The track almost sounds like it’s underwater. Like in a swimming pool maybe. Do you see what they did there. DO YOU SEE WHAT THEY DID THERE.

Anyway, it’s an awesome track and the second verse is like one of my favorite things ever. Figuring out each one of these songs is always a really fun puzzle, and that’s why I love doing this. Can’t wait to see how my channel progresses now that I’m learning this new gear!

(Although, if they’re not foot pedals any more, what are we going to call them? “Hey, check out this new station I got” just sounds weird, am I right?)