Richmond’s hip-hop scene has long seen underground stalwarts provide the city with an eclectic sound. Smooth up-and-comer Daryian Hallion, aka MOON is making a name for himself and capitalize on the strong networking he’s done since emerging on the scene a few years ago.
With a style that invokes West-Coast rap and jazzy dance, MOON’s upcoming project titled Yacht Music XIII harkens back to a self-described refined taste and story-telling concept.
RVA Mag spoke to MOON to discuss hip-hop music, his burgeoning career thus far and Yacht Music XIII.
“My whole life I’ve done rapping stuff but I want to say I’ve been taking it seriously for maybe three years,” MOON said. “Like actually writing it down and not just freestyling with my friends,”
Influenced by all types of hip-hop music, MOON describes his style as “a weird brainchild of Curren$y, Jay-Z and Snoop if you could pick all of the influences of those guys.” His song “All Night Long” captures that story-telling style and dance production.
With influences such as those, MOON blends his best version of flow, lyricism, and smooth production. Today’s hip-hop market doesn’t highlight rappers such as MOON as much; a testament he wouldn’t speak on too much as not to appear jealous.
“It’s hard to pinpoint, its in a weird place right now,” MOON said when asked about the state of hip-hop. There are still a few artists that warrant attention for their proficiency at rapping along with the eclectic producers they work with. Soulection, an urban artistry collective based in Los Angeles that has been at the forefront of a musical renaissance and known for such production recently added MOON under their artist development wing.
Along with the studio time and resources Soulection has provided MOON, he is also getting backing from an indie label based in London called Underbalance Inc.
“One of the dudes that started it hit me up and said he wanted to do a release with me and I realized he was in London,” MOON said. “I set up a date to go to London and kick it with them and it popped off really well and I kicked it there and stayed at his house, it went really well.”
With Soulection and Underbalance Inc. in his corner, MOON is readying the release of “Yacht Music XIII,” a collaboration mixtape with producer Ozark due sometime in August.
MOON describes his chemistry with Ozark as one-of-a-kind and a best friend outside of the music they produce. The relationship only adds to the quality of their musical collaboration.
The project gets its name from the production feel MOON gets from Ozark’s beats, comparing them to heist film Ocean’s 11. “All of Ozark’s beats remind me of heist beats with a few girls and mimosas on a boat.”
The tape will be based around a heist that starts at the planning phase, then a completion of the heist and then a mystery as to whether the heist went bad, or “escape on the boat with mimosas,” MOON said. “I think it’s cool to leave it open ended.”
A track list that’ll be roughly 7 or 8 songs comes from a stylistic change to shortening the product for more quality. “I used to put a lot of songs on tapes and stuff, but as I grew with music I realized less is more if you have a higher concentration of what you’re doing,” MOON said.
With an August release date in mind that corresponds with a few shows lined up for him, namely a gig at the The Camel as part of the REC room on August 9th, MOON is preparing to take his career to the next level.
With a proper debut album called “Just Friends” due sometime next year, MOON is ready to make his mark in hip-hop.