"Boom bap rap meets turntable in the basement with a microphone;" that's how young Maryland based rapper McKinley Dixon described his music. It's difficult to imagine what this sounds like without listening to the music. But McKinley's fresh new song called "Idolize" is the epitome of it. Honestly, this song is one of the best he's released so far (next to "Youth" cause that's definitely my favorite). As I follow his work excitedly, I notice the massive progress he shows as an artist. Every song McKinley releases possess some new musical element but still contains the characteristics of his original sound. "Idolize" is a perfect example.
With huge influences like the funky soulful hip-hop guru Andre 3000 (when he was part of Outkast) to alternative hip-hop trio CunninLynguists and more, McKinley seems to enjoy variations of different hip-hop, soul, and boom bap styles. "Anything that speaks a story through their music." With the very witty "Idolize", he shows us the kind of story he can tell. "I like something that has ample room in their lyrics for me to fill and be like, 'yeah, I can relate to this.'"
There's an abundance of styles in "Idolize", from the jazzy trumpet by Patrick Slaughter and saxophone by Clarence Slaughter to the cool old-school turntable scratches throughout the song. McKinley's ability to flow has gotten relatively faster and much stronger compared to his previous work. His lyrics are powerful and personal that when I listen to them, I can sometimes relate to what he raps about. This is similar to what Dixon said about his influences so you understand that he actually does take a part of that with him when recording or writing. I would categorize this song as "new-but-old boom bap rap."
The "Idolize" rapper works hard to get his music noticed. "Small interviews and tour blogging." I know my editors get drowned in press releases every day with bands reaching out to this website. Most of them are lost in the sea of requests. But McKinley refuses to quit. "Email alot of blogs; you could email 300 and only get two back but thats two more than you had before." That's a super strategy for any music artist on the brink of giving up. "There's way to many people rapping and working harder than you to feel like anyone owes you a chance." McKinley gives great advice. "Get yours don't beg for it."
I try to get McKinley to narrow down his favorite album from 2012. I'm not surprised by his answer. "I honestly couldn't do that. So many great projects from so many great artist, I couldn't narrow it down to one best album because they all had something that the other didn't and vice versa. "I had a feeling he'd say something like that, people who are musically cultured have a hard time narrowing down their music favorites.
I know McKinley's probably to humble to agree, but "Idolize" and a few other new tracks of his I've been able to preview can be closely compared to that of Pro Era's Joey Bada$$ and the majority of the Pro Era group. I'm not even trying to pull his leg right now, I mean this when I say it. Bada$$ has really become one of my favorite fresh rappers on the rise. I would love to see these two youngins work together. He was even hangin with some of these dudes a few weeks ago, let's get that rollin!
Though surprisngly, McKinley says he doesn't have a dream collaboration "I guess I would love to try my hand over other artist beats made specifically for me." He does have a couple of collaborations that I am looking forward to. "In the future, Jonny Craig (Dance Gavin Dace) and Fredua Boayke (Bad Rabbits) are my only two collaborations. For now."
This kid eats sleeps and breathes music. Not only is he always consistent in his work, he dedicates time and real effort, and still manages to stay intelligent, focusing on his education and getting into a great university.
For 2013, McKinley is set on trying his best to develop a decent following before the summer. "Along with that, I would like to do a few shows and release my last CD before Summer's end."
In the meantime, you can listen to "Idolize" below.
Get his "Days Get Brighter" EP free here! http://www.audiomack.com/
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