Review: Straight Outta’ The 574

lil aaron follows up his 2018 full length project with this new wave, 2000’s crunk inspired trap rap


Jahlea Douglas

GENESIS staff writer Junior Jenaro Delprete is a first year reporter at Elkhart Memorial High School. He specializes in music and reviews.

Jenaro DelPrete, Staff Writer

The sad boy rap legend from the 574, lil aaron, released his latest EP on January 25, 2019, titled “Dark Matter.” Coming in at only 17 minutes, the project is a strong five tracks with one remix in addition.

Following up his last release, “ROCK$TAR FAMOU$,” Aaron’s new project had to be an experimental moment in his career. While this wasn’t the perfect reigning departure from traditional sound, he really did take a stark turn in beat production and atmospheric soundscapes.

Opening up this EP is the song “Hurts” which is a track of pure artistic feats. Using acapella production in the first half of the song, he favors the idea that new wave rap should be tastefully unique to be appealing to all.

Being the slowest and softest song on the album, it definitely shows the maturity of the artist.

Opting for a soft and ambient atmosphere that you’d find in a shoegaze song, Aaron stood up and defined his sound as soon as the song started.

Following up this song is the title track “Dark Matter,” which is also the lead single from this album.

The beat production on this song is led by offset staccato and sound effects that kind of sound like someone is clipping with scissors.

Easy clean guitar riffs lay out the groundwork for the track, with an effect of space and almost underwater undertones.

“Last Time I Checked” and “Tonite I Feel Like Dying,” can be lumped together in the category of industry standard depressing heartbroken love songs. Very well written tracks with a lot of interesting elements of production, solid features from Goody Grace and Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, but nothing really to write home about, very standard catchy tunes.

“Lurked” is where this album really stands out. Blaring auto-tuned vocals, to the point of clipping, this song made me feel different.

I played this song in my car like 18 times just because I was confused.

The production of the beat on this track reminds me of early 2000s rap and crunk groups like 3OH!3 and even maybe Brokencyde. Not only is this style foreign to many people, it’s also super well done. Pulsating house beats with industrial trap influences? Or maybe crunkcore revived? I’m not entirely sure, but this song sure does go pretty hard with an interesting vocal flow and timbre. And the guitar solo absolutely rips at the end, tears up the game.

Concluding with the remix of the title track, rapper feature blackbear feels very well put together with his verse not feeling out of place at all. The beat on this track features loud but thin, tiny snap snares, siren synths, and booming bass. I was pretty impressed by this track although I wish the beat was used in a different track.

The downsides to this album is that there isn’t a huge amount of diversity. I was rather unimpressed with the lack of complete shock value, almost every aspect of every song was predictable with a few minor exceptions.

Aaron’s last full length album was full of surprises and had plenty to go off of. But with this album, while I enjoyed it, I was less than impressed with the musical adventure.

I wanted to expect more from him but from him already being a bigger name in the alternative wave of underground rap, I’m not all that surprised. The mixing quality on this album could have been a little better, I didn’t like the fact that the transitions were significantly underwhelming or even just poor in volume and EQ.

Other than a few minor things, I do have to say, I enjoyed this album a lot. It kept me interested for the first few listen-throughs, nothing out of the ordinary that made me hate it. I do hope for a better project either later this year or next year from lil aaron as he does prove to be talented and upcoming in the scene.

Solid 8.5 out of 10, pretty darn good if you ask me.

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the GENESIS staff. Reach Jenaro DelPrete at [email protected].