There's a hip hop vanguard coming out of New York City right now. One could argue that there has been since the art form's inception, but this wave feels special. Artists like The Bronx's MIKE, Queens' Deem Spencer and Brooklyn's Medhane are rewriting the rules while also respecting the foundations that made their experimentation possible. While these rappers have their own sounds, a common thread can be identified that runs through them. They opt for beats that are jumbled and glitchy, but their pulsations make them feel incredibly alive. Amidst the hiccuping production, they rap with an earnestness that cuts through and hits you in the chest.
Today, Medhane dropped a new project, Own Pace. The music's central theme can be deduced from the title: doing your best to stay afloat, day-by-day. But staying afloat isn't the only goal. There's a commitment to intention, to ensuring that each action reflects a message of who you are and what you're trying to put out into the world. It's also emphasized that this is not a solo mission. The support of loved ones is essential. Medhane deals with these lofty realities in a way that poetry is found in the simplest observations. Each bar captures a truth that can take lifetimes to accept and put into practice, but each day is another opportunity to try.