May 25, 2024

Concept may not a household name just yet, but true hip-hop fans who listen to him know he could soon be. What makes the St. Louis MO multitalented artist so appealing is that he is able to drop killer bars, as well as melodic hooks with equal effortlessness. A rapper, singer, and songwriter in both hip-hop and R&B stylings, his latest album “Goin Up” strives to bring back the nostalgic sounds and vibes of party music from the 90s and early 2000s. The project is an amazing showcase of Concept’s talents, as he works alongside features such as Tongue Out, Quey305, Rambo, Venus Vess, and Scottfreepreach.

Concept is one of underground rap’s most prolific and consistently great voices.  He is an increasingly commanding rapper, who sounds even more effortlessly great than he did on his earlier material. He’s often the star of the show on his projects, but he’s also a good team player, and one of the best parts of the album “Goin Up” is how Concept integrates with the work of his features. He melds himself with the music, and just when you think his bag of tricks is empty, he pulls out another surprising skill.

There are some major highlights on this album, including the single “1-900/ Midnight Lover” ft. Tongue Out, which is light-hearted, interesting, and compelling music. The track is a continuation of form, being part of Concept’s most creatively ambitious body of work yet; it brings hypnotizing high hats and a smooth melody that few can produce so well. The song delivers with a cool, calm and collected groove that is consistent with Concept’s skillset.

“1-900/ Midnight Lover” ft. Tongue Out is carried by an infectious bounce in the production that would make any head bump in synchronicity. Concept goes on to deliver the coldest verses and hooks over a booming bass change-up. Its braggadocios, but it’s down to earth and lets the listener know that no one else can get things jumping like he can. Concept is ready to pierce through the industry, and grab a seat for himself at the table.

Today it seems as if everyone is blurring the genre lines in rap, hip-hop and R&B. The days of single-faceted artists staying in one lane no longer exist. Concept manages to seamlessly fuse elements of these different genres without sacrificing a single bar of artistic integrity. His songs all have one thing in common; they make you feel every word. Any time an artist like Concept can blend genres together in a way that does not seem forced it definitely makes for an eye-opening listen.

Overall, I was really surprised with “1-900/ Midnight Lover” ft. Tongue Out. I didn’t come to the listening experience with high hopes or any particular expectations, but was completely blown away by the solid level of artistry and the production quality. The musicality, the vocals, the feature, and the vibe, has made this single, easily one of my favorite tracks at the moment. If Concept is also here to show us that he can keep up with many of hip hop’s rising stars, he has definitely succeeded.

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