By Lane Claffee
May 11, 2018
The eccentric hip hop duo Stereoloud have been creating their ever-evolving blend of experimental hip hop since their 2009 self-titled full-length. From the glitchy electronica of Rocket Fuel, to the organic oddities of their latest release, Meat & Potatoes, Stereoloud covers a lot of musical ground as a group. Now, emcee Exactly is branching off on a solo venture to release the first EP of a three-part series titled Hyperbolic Release.
The first of these releases, titled A Blue Hope, is to set to be released this month, with production by Charlotte’s AXNT, mixed and mastered by Justin Aswell. Containing just three tracks, it’s arguably some of the most exploratory material to be released by the Stereoloud emcee to date. The EP begins with “Kinex,” a whirling, barraging two-minute cut of rhymes and IDM-style production, which kicks the momentum of the record into full gear, right out of the gate. The urgency of both the oscillating synth beats and the relentlessly quick rhyming set an immediate precedence for the unorthodox nature of the project.
“Standing” breaks away from the intensity of the aforementioned. Starting with a gleaming, lo-fi beat, it’s matched with Exactly ironically stating, “panic attacks became a career / I’d be a millionaire,” as well as the confrontational hook “You can have that last laugh when you land that last punch / I’ll be the last man standing.” It seems that some of the project’s hardest lines show up over one of it’s most modest beats. It’s a briefly low-key moment on the EP, as the next track “Reflex” ramps the record right back up before it’s close. The frantic, blipping instrumental compliments Exactly’s lightning-quick verses nicely, spouting borderline paranoid lines such as “I don’t know who I was or who I trust.” Rapper Luse Kanz adds some fire bars that bring some texture to the EP with his rugged golden era New York-style word play reminiscent of Mobb Deep or the Gravediggaz. The track quickly drops down into an instrumental beat, and ultimately fades out, leaving just abruptly as it came.
Overall, Hyperbolic Release I: A Blue Hope sounds like a musical anomaly. It’s a short EP, clocking in at only eight minutes, but it’s high-speed, quality lyrical content, along with it’s uniquely sporadic production, it does a lot in a very short amount of time. It holds a great deal of unconventionality to it, and overall, is a solid compendium of Charlotte hip hop in the vein of the avant-garde.