Blue Space Records · April 5, 2019
Since entering the hip-hop scene in 2015, Mellowgod has released two EPs and two singles, “Bankroll” and “Andy Milonakis”. Since these first releases, Mellowgod’s unique sound and lyricism have developed into something different that can be heard in the execution of his new EP, Apollo. Mellowgod is from the greater Boston area and represents an important surge in talent and culture in the Boston music scene.
With only five tracks of great music it’s difficult to pinpoint a clear favorite on Apollo. However, I think the title track “Apollo,” makes the largest impression on me because of the distinct sounds of someone in space in the intro and outro. It sets the tone of the piece well by creating a mysterious energy and introducing the listener to more than a producer tag. This song has interesting background vocals that have been auto-tuned and compliments the beat perfectly. The rhyme slowly increases in tempo and creates suspension within the song. That contributes to the overall tone of the EP, as it’s energetic without losing its smoothness. One unique aspect of this EP is Mellowgod’s ability to move between singing and rapping, and create catchy choruses without sounding like pop music. The final song “Pave the Way” articulates Mellowgod’s opinion on his own musical ability and how he’s paved the way for other artists. It also shows an initiative to make music that’s personal and tells a story. In many ways the difference in sound and style really does pave the way for more personal rap music.
I admire the fact that Mellowgod is creating music more in tune with who he is rather than what the industry wants. One thing I noticed throughout the EP was that the style of production and beats are similar. This helps the cohesiveness of the entire album as it sounds like a single unit rather than random tracks thrown together. As an avid hip-hop listener I’m constantly searching for new sounds and interesting rhymes and this gives exactly that. It’s refreshing to hear a cohesive EP that isn’t a list of already released singles. Mellowgod creates music for the sake of artistry rather than mimicking fads for clicks and that will be an important driver for the industry to evolve. While cities like Boston are often excluded from or simply ignored in the hip-hop conversation it’s becoming apparent that we’ve had the talent all along. With the rise of several break out artists, the air in Boston is buzzing with opportunity for hip-hop to really plant its roots and grow out into the community.