Von Poe VII is a representative of the Riverside collective Organized Threat, and he has been slowly building a following with the release of some quality, well-received albums over the past two years, and ‘The Hype’ completes a trilogy of LP’s with resounding success. Poe has released music under some different aliases (you may have heard of him as Poetic Death), but this latest project finds him delivering on all fronts, with an engaging maturity and undeniable skill.
Opening with ‘Voicemails From Joogy’ is a melodic introduction, and the twinkling, jazzy piano keys find Von Poe demonstrating a sophistication and effortless precision that instantly sets you down and prepares you for the next fifty minutes of stylish lyricism. The maturity in the Riverside spitter’s content is executed beautifully on ‘Youth & Adolesence’; the reflective verses are masterfully composed, and the captivating vocal performance and soulful production make this track a remarkably absorbing experience.
The slow-moving subtlety of ‘Vices’ makes it a highlight from ‘The Hype’. The eclectic flows, retrospective writing and strong melodies make the LP accessible for the casual listener and substantial for those that want to divulge the content explored and lessons taught through Von Poe VII’s expert craftsmanship. The soulful, upbeat funk influence of ‘Self Love’ is reminiscent of recent Anderson. Paak and Kendrick Lamar material, and with the intelligent lyricism and discerning musicality displayed throughout the LP, Von Poe VII should be well on his way to being mentioned amongst such respected company.
‘Iscariot’ is a raw and gritty banger, and the moody piano sample creates a hazed out, intense mood for the savage west coast wordsmith to paint street-smart pictures with a confidence and swagger that rides the line perfectly between distinct Californian inflections and east coast inspired boom bap beats. Von Poe VII’s intricate rhymes and provocative lyrics on ‘Staccato’ make it one of the LP’s most cuts. The crisp, reverb-drenched snares keep the charismatic, free-flowing delivery perfectly in the pocket, and the hypnotic, dreamy guitar samples are another example of the consistently accomplished production-value found on ‘The Hype’.
With sparkling keys once again lacing the track, the instrumental of the title-track exemplifies the uplifting, jazzy direction of the album. The unorthodox flows and quality melodic undertones explored across the release make Von Poe’s ability and depth as an artist clear to see, and the talented musician exhibits an experienced and accomplished presence whenever he graces the microphone. The LP finishes on the fantastic ‘Closure (No Apologies)’, and the modern, summery vibe is accompanied with characteristically humble, insightful writing from the Riverside rapper, whose bars, melodies and choruses are faultless from start to finish.
‘The Hype’ is an incredible piece of music, and hopefully the title is a nod to things to come for the insanely talented Von Poe VII. Some well chosen guest appearances and a consistent, cohesive backdrop to his technically gifted, eclectic lyricism. There’s not a weak track to be found here, and upon reaching the closing stages you’ll be astonished at how this guy is still bubbling below the radar. Be a part of the movement before it’s common knowledge.
By Sam Bennett