Virginia Emcee Evan Barlow drops new mixtape, channels some of modern hip hop’s best

by | Dec 15, 2015 | MUSIC

Virginia Emcee Evan Barlow, after two years of work, has finally released his mixtape,

Virginia Emcee
Evan Barlow, after two years of work, has finally released his mixtape, Fabrics.

Barlow decided to name the mixtape Fabrics as each song on the mixtape experiments with all levels and sorts of genre and sounds. The two years of work stemmed from which tracks and songs to put on the mixtape itself.

“We had about thirty tracks to choose from but we wanted to really stick to the Fabrics idea,” Barlow said. “Meaning all different sounds, different production, different genres, etc. so I’d say the hardest part was deciding what songs were “crossing the line” so to speak, and whether or not we should even release a tape like this.”

This eccentric and retrospective mixtape deviates from beat to sound, genre to subject, mood to vibes, Barlow and his team highlight primal techniques that fall just on or above the line poetics.

A notable track is “Come Together” where MC Barlow samples the infamous Beatles track but stacks on contemporary issues like internal regime and allusions to social injustices or external pressures. Barlow seems to channel a geist of Kendrick Lamar circa 2012.

With quick-snap verses, nostalgic samples, and wide variation of subject matter, Barlow’s artistry alludes quite well to that of essence of the word contemporary–reverent to time.

This “glued together from different pieces” concept to the album makes it incredibly diverse as each track has a different idea that Barlow discusses; where he assumes a sort of persona that is relevant to each song and beat.

Another notable track is “O.L.L.I”, though lighthearted, it carries a bomb acronym: “One Life, Live It”. MC Barlow goes wayside and cuts in an elusive beat with echoing and goodhearted verses that inspire a listener to bounce to the beat and into the message.

“Butter Toppin” is a fan favorite on the release. Barlow incorporates a sultry reggae beat into this well composed serenade to his lover as he continuously chants: “She’s my lover, God how I love her, God gave me women but I don’t want another”. How romantic.

Production for the mixtape came from a slew of locations, from his closet, to Paramount studios in Los Angeles where much of the tape was finished. But Barlow didn’t do all of this production on his own as behind every artist there’s a team.

“Andrew Hypes produced over half of this project, Tyler Soden helped with a lot of the videos and promotion,” Barlow said. “The fucking legend Bink of course, salute to him. Just a lot of people man, a lot of awesome people. We took this tape to RCA and they said it was good, but it wasn’t cohesive. After a lot of back and forth we just decided to put it out, I think we made the right decision.”

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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