St. Louis Rapper Isn’t Stuck in the Middle — His New Album Proves It

Kendall Davidson celebrate his new album Somewhere In Between at Blueberry Hill tomorrow

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click to enlarge Kendall Davidson stands in front of Blueberry Hill.
Katie Lawson
Kendall Davidson will celebrate his new album Somewhere In Between on Saturday at Blueberry Hill.

Kendall Davidson has a quiet, but strong force about him in person. That comes as no surprise after listening to his brand-new album Somewhere In Between and something each track reflects.

“I’m a little quiet, just a little,” the St. Louis-based rapper says. “But music challenges me. With music, you have to be more social. I’m confident in what I expect will be an evolution with Somewhere In Between."

“Really, I’m beyond the between part of my life,” he adds, laughing.

Despite being new to interviews, Davidson is coolly confident while talking about the project across the street from Blueberry Hill, where he will be officially celebrating the release of his fourth album this Saturday at 8 pm.

Somewhere In Between is an evolved album, a listen which encourages the reader to keep growing and enjoying the process of our inner worlds. Much like its creator, it’s a genuine look into the feeling we all get in life, a feeling of being somewhere in between. But with the conclusion of the album, Davidson steps past that middle.

Though the album is rap, Davidson isn’t only inspired by one genre.

“I like what I like,” he says.

Davidson grew up in a richly musical environment from young age, so how could he not appreciate a taste of everything? With roots from Mississippi, you can hear in his music the cool tones of bluegrass, the alternative rock he listened to as a kid, the jazz age of St. Louis and the mixing of old school hip hop with the fresh samples of trap rap.

“Alonzo Thompson and Nas were very impactful for me as a musician and rapper,” he says. This combination of what should feel like contradicting genres results in a layered approach, giving listeners a taste of what they like.

In middle and grade school, Davidson wrote poems, going on to study film and production in college. Storytelling, he says, is his thing.

One can hear that in the new album. It takes the form of a therapy session, where Davidson reflects on himself, his relationships, the grief and loss he has experienced in his life, the pandemic, violence in St. Louis, and most of all, how he can grow and does grow with the people around him.

Throughout the album, Davidson peppers in Soul Sessions, soundbites of him speaking to a fictional therapist in the album. In these sessions, he reflects on the previous tracks, and in turn, his life. These sessions give even more insight into Davidson as an artist, and as a person.

Listening feels like a peek into his diary or his inner world.

“I want to incorporate you into my world with my music,” he says. “I didn’t sugarcoat my experiences, but I also want it to be a soundtrack for life. Between is something you can listen to while you're driving, something you can dance too. It also is something where you can think and reflect.”

I knew exactly what he meant: I had first listened to it in full while driving for groceries, and then I was hooked.

Davidson, who is from St. Louis, takes a great amount of pride in the city, hoping this album will help give back to the community and the local music scene.

“I appreciate St. Louis so much,” he says. “My goal would be to have more experiences with this album, which take St. Louis even further in music.” Two of the tracks have titles that reference St. Louis: “Lou Talk” and the other being “Wash Ave.” He notes that St. Louis’ music scene is like his music in that it combines different genres into something completely new and different.

Like St. Louis, Davidson is many things. When he’s not working on his art and filmmaking brand, The FreshMan Project, and he has another musical act going with the Laid Back Band. They helped introduce him to new styles, new ways of doing things.

“Ever since I’ve joined them, I’ve realized I can’t perform without a band,” Davidson says. “It adds another sound, gives whatever I’m doing a new version. We’ve grown really close, and they’re a part of me now.”

The Loop, in particular, is very special to the creation of Davidson’s music, and he takes inspiration from the greats who played in the Duck Room before him.

“Blueberry Hill has magic,” he says. “It’s part of St. Louis history and music history. In a way, performing there and around Sr. Louis, has always been part of the plan.”

You can catch Kendall Davidson at the Duck Room at 8 p.m. on Saturday, January 28, at Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Boulevard). Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

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About The Author

Katie Lawson

Katherine "Katie" Lawson is a writing intern and student at Washington University. From Dallas, Texas, she has loved learning about St. Louis and is always looking for new, exciting things to try in the city.
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