When we got an opportunity to speak with hip-hop’s favorite composer Johan Lenox this past summer, he mentioned an intriguing side project he was working on with several fellow classical musicians, rappers, singers and more.
Now months later, isomonstrosity is finally here — sporting unorthodox features from Danny Brown, 645AR, Zacari, Kacy Hill, Vic Mensa and more. Combining the efforts of a variety of contributors, Johan, fellow composer Ellen Reid, conductor Yuga Cohler and friends have managed to break musical boundaries with their rebellious piece.
By using the flexibility of both classical music and hip-hop, the project takes a free form, jazzy approach — following no rules as tempos and pitches change on a whim. All of the artists handle these challenging instrumentals with ease, from Danny Brown’s poetic rapping to Kacy Hill’s haunting vocals.
Johan unearthed this project during an interview with us, explaining that “it’s going way further down the road of classical composers writing weird, atonal, chaotic ass instrumentals, and then just putting rappers and pop singers and shit on in different combinations, sort of like DJ Khaled as a classical composer.”
Johan has been on fire this year, sharing his album WDYWTBWYGU with features from KayCyy, Lancey Foux, 070 Shake and more. In 2022, his career as an artist has taken off as he continues to create classical-infused pop and hip-hop both behind-the-scenes and in the limelight.
Isomonstrosity is a testament to the limitless possibilities that are still out there regarding hip-hop’s future, taking a comfortable genre and creating something unheard of. Johan and company are sure to continue this movement, so keep an eye out for more experimental classical/hip-hop/R&B in the near future.
Check out ‘isomonstrosity’ below!