When we talk about artists who’ve mastered the art of “lifestyle music,” FLEE’s name rings loud and clear. Following a near two-year hiatus that allowed him to take in life and draw inspiration, the Queens-born rapper’s awaited return feels like dawn after a long night.
On top of stunning collaborations with Brent Faiyaz — who was featured on “SWISH/USE 2” off Flee’s 2019 mixtape, Xool Summer — Pi’erre Bourne, King Combs (“The Moment”) and fellow NYC mainstay Cash Cobain, FLEE is set to emerge from a full-length drought with his forthcoming album, GHOST, on Friday (Sept. 1). And with it, a new era that emphasizes his lived experiences and the lessons they’ve taught him.
At 16 tracks long with features from Cash and ATL’s Love Streak heartthrob Tony Shhnow, GHOST isn’t just another album in FLEE’s catalog — it’s a culmination of his journey so far, stressing the longevity and replay value his music consistently delivers. Clad with a stark yet lavish sonic pallette, GHOST’s sounds are bolstered by production from SURG GANG founder Evilgiane, Atlanta’s plugg pioneer MexikoDro, Snapz, NattCarlos, MBWav and more.
On first listen, the album paints a vibrant picture, blending ear-worming raps with grandiose choruses and hook shifts — underscored by radiant, plugg-tinged instrumentals. Admittedly, each track is a venture through hypnotic melodies and punchy drill drums, all woven together to craft FLEE’s most polished work to date.
Sampling the legendary Notorious B.I.G (“I Know You Cheating”) and Sade (“Til Death”) not only set the record’s tone, but infectious hooks such as, “There’s a hundred ways to make this fucking money, baby is you down?”, off “Nobody Cuffin” showcase FLEE’s knack for crafting anthems that are inescapable.
Other standouts like “In This” with Cash Cobain, the ethereally crafted “Flow Away,” “My Body” with Tony Shhnow and “1 to Whenever” produced by the magical Evilgiane, it’s the bombastic, power-packed “Nicki” that not only showcases FLEE’s versatility, but also pays homage to his roots in Queens by shouting out borough icon Nicki Minaj.
It’s been nearly two years since FLEE’s last full-length project, dropping RatedStar and Happy Birthday FL33 to the praise of both fans and critics. While these tapes have become rotation favorites for Flee fans, GHOST is Flee’s magnum opus — redefining “lifestyle music” and serving as a reminder of why he stands tall in music’s ever-evolving landscape.
In other words, Flee is flying high and operating at his finest — triumphantly reappearing on GHOST.
This story will be updated.
Check back for “GHOST” this weekend!