Once again in 2018, the RFT recognizes St. Louis' unparalleled musical talent by presenting the STL 77, our list of 77 acts who did big things in the last twelve months. From now through June 16, the kick-off date of our huge two-day music festival ShowcaseSTL, we'll be announcing two honorees per weekday on our music blog. For last year's STL 77 picks, go here; for the complete lineup for ShowcaseSTL, go here.
On this year’s full-length release Hopeless and Romanticizing
, the rapper and producer formerly known as Veto Lamar Money and Black Spade (he has stylized out the “a’s”) takes his jazz and soul and downtempo influences to wholly unexpected and thrilling places. He’s singing now, with a confident and subtle baritone, and exploring melodies straight out of Stevie Wonder, and lush arrangements that sound as sexually healing as Marvin Gaye. He hasn’t turned his back on hip-hop, not hardly, as his samples are delightfully obscure and his beats still deftly deconstructed. Though billed as a teaser for a full vocal-oriented workout to be titled BLVCK SPVDE and the Svmthngz-N-Nvthngz Sessions
, the quasi-mixtape of Hopeless and Romanticizing
is more than a sketchpad. It’s a fresh and exciting chapter for one of this city’s most celebrated musicians.
Recommended If You Like:
Stevie Wonder (circa Secret Life of Plants
), Prince (circa Dirty Mind
), J Dilla, Common