Award winning composer/singer/songwriter Johan Lenox is stepping out of the shadows to create his own sound.
Lenox has been behind the scenes for many of our favorite albums of the last decade, from Travis Scott, Kanye, Nas and many others. He has been using his experience as a well respected classical composer and pianist to create a whole new sound for hip hop, and is now exploring that sound in his solo releases.
The remixed “chamber version” of his previously released “throwback thursday” comes with vocal additions from two artists who have both been accumulating praise for the last few years — albeit in completely different sub genres of hip hop.
Kota the Friend is fresh off the release of To Kill A Sunrise, a collaboration album with legendary producer Statik Selektah that showcases his insane lyrical capabilities and unique flows. The other contributor, Lil Keed, was just recently featured on his label’s compilation album, Slime Language 2, appearing alongside Big Sean and T-Shyne. His style of rapping is comparable to that of YSL label founder Young Thug, with whom he shares an almost father-son relationship.
As one can imagine, having these two on a song together definitely raises some eyebrows, seeing as how their sounds are on two sides of the hip hop spectrum. Lenox uses the atmospheric melodies of a full orchestra to create a full and progressive melody that evolves as the song continues. Kota the friend comes in first with an immaculate verse detailing a childhood romance, running from home and wishing for better days with a first love. As the instrumental progresses, Lenox comes in with a deep chorus and verse, crooning about missing old times and friends. Lil Keed reminisces as well, using a bit more of an explicit manner to relive his past experiences.
This song shows a marriage of three key components, the orchestral aspect from Lenox, the lyrical capabilities of Kota, and the high pitch trap sound from Lil Keed. This single is a fantastic foreshadowing of things to come from Lenox and how he can impact the soundscape of hip hop through his own content.