Review Summary: The Abby EP is ambitious, confessional and quite emotional. In fact it has all the elements of a great project just a few minor missteps restrain this project from being more.
Auto Tune isn't my thing... there I said it. I haven't been a fan of auto tune rap since T-Pain. Well that was until I stumbled across this Extended Play by the artist who goes by the name of WhoIsConscious. WhoIsConscious is the rapper who had the outstanding verse on Khirey Akeem's debut album dumbass track loop. and boy was that spectacular. Seeing him spit one of the most amazing flows I've ever heard and the dopest lyrics about religion and race added on top of that had me wondering what would his own solo material sound like. Well it's different and not different bad. WhoIsConscious dropped an EP named The Abby EP March 31st of this year and boy was it such an artistic change. I thought by first listen of him he was a sure hip hop head but that wasn't the case at all. He actually is more ambitious than I gave credit too.
As the first song "Close You Eyes" arrives it has an accordion driven synth that leads to a spacious drum pattern with a heavy amount of autotuned reverb upon the chorus. The auto tune sounds like a mixture of Travis Scott and T-Pain for sure but the chorus has that stick that a chorus should have which is an instant pull in. The verses begin and as the modern day rap sounds he comes with a trap like slurred triplets flow so it throws off a little but after that the second verse kicks into what was reminiscent about his verse on dumbass. As he wrecks the beat with outstanding cadence, a super amped up flow and very passionate rhymes about a past love affair, all while maintaining such charisma it reminds you of all we had hoped for when he was first heard. The song is atmospheric and has multiple elements of trap and cloud rap so it's clear his influences lie further beyond watching newer rappers. He's just keeping up with the times in his own fashion. Now it's skeptical as to what the rest of this project would present but it can be denied at this point that WhoIsConscious is a more than capable rapper.
The second song, which is a two part affair named DLMB/ For You, kicks off with a heavy piano backing pounding off with the sinister drum kicks as he screams in more of a punk rock manner the haunting lyrics, "Don't leave me baby all the *** we've been through, this life is crazy all I need here is you." brings the fire to the project that started off somewhat too calmly for my listening. Those lyrics alone in the chorus takes me aback to a time of my first mistaken love which is instant nostalgia for anyone who has felt this unbearable pain. The song is a two parter so it shifts back into another calmer tune titled "For You" which has the same emotional leverage as the first track but it's smoother. The sampled added unto the newer, slower and more powerful pianos adds the added amp needed to carry this track and keep up with the energy as the first one before it. The song is more so a slow burner as the tune nears its end a voicemail skit from what would appear to be the woman this extended play is about is almost so surreal in every instance of the word. How she makes allegations against our star here about whether his phone has been dead or not and the more than unneeded aggressive tone in her voice shifts this project into another dynamic. In turn that allows for the next song which is a phenomenal duet to have a great amount of baggage. "Tide" which is that track I speak of has our first guest appearance as well from local singer Marqui and my does she have the voice of an angel. WhoIsConscious voice as far as singing so far has been more so iffy but not iffy to the point it's unlistenable (say la an Azealia Banks) it's just how would his voice sync with someone else's. Well the short answers is absolutely perfect. This duet combination of rapper and singer (or this new trend some would say) is beyond what words can describe. This album is more drenched in cloudy memories than anything else and if ever feeling down this song is the essential back drop for letting go of a loved one. WhoIsConscious' melody is beyond what others in a similar lane of his are doing and tracks like this just prove that. His artistic vision runs deeper than just that of a hip hop rhymeslayer he has content deeper than just rhymes.
With all the essentials of what could be an amazing pop smash, the EP hits its most emotional strive. Unapologetic comes in with this airy synth chord and drums that sound like they could've landed on any song The Neptunes produced from the early 2000s. And once again as mentioned earlier the hip hop that lies within the artist comes pouring out in this track with every lyric hitting harder than the last one before it. The drums pound with his vocal inflictions with each treble coming right after to display his immense and incredibly diverse flow. It's a wild flow that is so beautiful it can't be hated. It's the type of flow that matches any era of rap. The songs third verse is the one that caps it all off which is a tear jerker as he reminisces upon everything at this point in the failed relationship even stating to himself that death doesn't seem to harsh or bad anymore. It's saddening as it's a reminder of the Celina series Khirey Akeem has in his discography. The song is a clear standout by far. You're left with the feeling of emptiness and dread.
But one all is said and done the album turns to the powerful closure Fade Away. Well what should've been the closure anyways and it's another duet with an artist by the name of Michael Norton. The soundscape upon this project is just a long a memory and recollections of an entire relationship going down hill. As those words spark on the chorus from both artist, "Watch it Fade Away...." leaves you in a state of delusion, deliriousness and almost a sense of disbelief. Anyone would feel these exact emotions after having been with someone for so long only to go through all elements of grief. The song is a firm stamp on the perfect summer breakup soundtrack. That's not a diss, the world needs a newer artist that has the sensitivity of Drake but also the rhyme skills of a Kendrick Lamar. It's a near perfect combination. The album really ends with March 17th and it almost feels like the waking up of finally having moved on to bigger and better things. It's a celebration anthem and well deserved as it's a quick display of skill again. The EP then ends and it's worth noting how much of an enchanting listen this was.
Even with the intriguing listen there are a few missteps. I think the track listing could've been shifted just a tad bit and that the production, though very excellent, could have been a little more ambitious. But for the subject matter which is that of letting go I guess it fits just right. WhoIsConscious first project more than met expectations and exceeded what I thought I'd be hearing. He is the next face of Atlanta indeed but the matter is that how far can he take it? Will his next project be a little bit more broader as far as issues and detail? Will he jump off the roof and sell out? Will he transition to the pop world? Well whatever his next endeavor brings upon him I know this project is sensational and was a much enjoyable listen. Only time will tell if he will become the hybrid between lyrics and catchy choruses. He may be the balance hip hop desperately needs.