Johnny Astro: TheWorldENDs
The category of “college rappers” is one that lacks artistic depth, creativity, and intellect. Albums are usually upbeat in hope that one track will become the next “I Love College” or “Young, Wild and Free” and consume the ears of student for semesters to come. Themes are usually based on “last night’s party” or something about “the great weed currently being smoked.” I want to so badly put Johnny Astro into the college rapper category, but I feel it is only because of his age.
His new mixtape The World ENDS is truly something special in a category of rap that truly lacks artistry. Astro samples everyone from Adele, Gotye, Ellie Goulding, Coldplay and Beyoncé. However no matter the sample, you never lose the feeling that Astro is truly in control of the sound. According to Astro he produced the entire mixtape, which is extremely impressive considering the plethora of sounds you hear throughout the 15 tracks.
When I listen to music, the only skits I enjoy may be Eminem’s Roseburg skits or Wu Tang Clan‘s. If they are not strategically place appropriately, it can be a big turn off with music. Astro has three skits which I actually appreciated. The mixtape opens up with a rendition of Langston Hughes, “I, Too” poem which leads into an Adele sample. Track number two lasts for about 15 seconds and is Ben Affleck and Matt Damon fighting from the movie, Good Will Hunting. No good mixtape goes without a Gladiator snippet of Russell Crowe screaming, “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED.”
Astro’s style reminds me of Kid Cudi before he blew in 2008, when A Kid Named Cudi was released. As a listener, you get a vibe that Astro–like Cudi–is sort of a loner and different than the rest of the crowd. What remains the same between Cudi and Astro are their complexity and their comfort with their feelings/emotions toward themselves, with girls and the world around them. The stoner/druggy feel you get from Cudi’s music are replaced with a space-age, futuristic sound of Astro. Vocally, you can tell he is from Texas but you would swear he is right off of a mid-90’s UGK track. Astro’s talents of being both a producer and rapper will draw comparisons to Kendrick Lamar, but he’s much more like Big K.R.I.T., which in either case both would be good paths to follow.
I really think this Johnny Astro has a lot of talent. He could literally blast off if his sound is heard by the right ears. The only thing that may worry me about this mixtape is the beats and sounds are just that of a cliché college rapper and may overshadow his true talent. Less samples and more originality there may be no ceiling for this moon man.
MP3: Johnny Astro “Fuckin Numb”
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