Born in Hawaii and left at the age of 1, Abyss16 is an artist from Oxnard CA, who founded his own successful YouTube channel with the same handle. The artist has since ventured into writing his own lyrics, performing, recording and arranging under the rap and hip-hop tags. His latest album, is the 9 track project “The Hood Narrator”. All of the songs on this project have something to offer and beg to be listened to, based on Abyss16’s deadpan, no nonsense delivery alone. Throughout the album we are taken on a journey by a lyrical, urgent and direct rapping style.
“The Hood Narrator” is a fantastic project, one that is like a well written sentence: short and sweet. At only 30 minutes, the album doesn’t waste any time because it simply cannot afford to. The self-explanatory names of the tracks, reinforces the raw, forthright feeling the project evokes. It’s an auditory diamond in the rough.
The action starts from the opening tracks “Cornered”, “These Streets”, where Abyss16 comes in swinging, jumps between flows and hits his punchlines with class. He tackles the industry head on, then analyzes survival on the streets, before dropping some ominous sounds on the edgy “Ghost”. The venom in some bars harks back to the glory battle rap days, as Abyss16 reminds us that he does what he wants and he does it like no one else does.
Abyss16 can go from a charismatic and almost conversational style, to harsh aggression, one line after another. Moreover his message-sending and storytelling capabilities come powerfully to the fore on “Envior-Mental”.
If we’re just talking about how this thing sounds, then you will be blown away by the title track, “The Hood Narrator”, which innovates in its ideation. Screaming rock guitars, and a soulful funk groove drive the song’s underbelly, as Abyss16 vividly weaves his tale.
“Straight P” is an explicit cut, built on clever wordplay and an abundance of sharp double-entendres. The quirky and understated production works incredibly well with the animated vocal style that Abyss16 adopts here. Aside from Abyss16’s flows, wordplay and storytelling, the key element that makes this album’s atmosphere really enjoyable, is the overall creativeness of it. The beats especially, are as gritty and as colorful as you could imagine.
“Sincerely Yours” is particularly indicative of the above statement, with a beat that crackles, pops and frizzles. There’s a lot crammed into each of the nimble cuts contained in “The Hood Narrator” album.
The packed sounds make each track feel more substantial than the two or three minutes they each last. This is true of “Nowhere Fast”, with its throbbing bassline and whistling synths, on which Abyss16 paints yet another vivid lyrical picture.
Foreboding and atmospheric, the hard-hitting and cinematic, “Trippin’ Outro (Instru-mental)”, lasts for just over five minutes, showcasing all the productions skills contained within this album, in just one song.
There is a freshness contained within “The Hood Narrator”, as creative sparks are evident, almost everywhere. Musically, the album is full of diversity, very well written and performed. Everything is in its place and everything perfectly complements each other, thanks to both the beats and the artistic skills of Abyss16.