How many artists sound genuinely fresh? So many remind us of so and so but few are truly authentic enough to stand alone in their definitions. And Avelino is certainly one such artist, a lyricist who’s propensity for acrobatics is balanced by the grounded messages he delivers.
Having gained recent notoriety via ‘Old Fire, Young Flame’ – a collaborative project with his good friend Wretch 32 – fans have been waiting for something new and coherent to give us an insight into where Avelino is at and ‘FYO’ is an infallible example of a rapper whose creativity is brimming.
Sonically the project is tough to pin down…it’s triumphant yet understated, futuristic yet familiar…the mastermind Raf Riley (UK underground’s Rick Rubin) executive produced it and you can hear the trademarks of his work throughout. Put simply, the twists and turns in each song entice the listener into expecting a crescendo and Avelino makes sure we happily follow the path until he decides to end with an emphatic punchline.
The stand out track is ‘Welcome To The Future’ which is nothing short of an classic. Avelino brings us into his world, one where the darkest experiences are inspiration for achievement and self assurance is the invaluable currency for ensuring success. The skits that glue the EP together are cool but the one prior to ‘FYO’ is a snap shot of the project’s message. ‘Fuck Your Opinion’ sees trap meet mellow dubstep in an aggressively discordant, down beat yet punchy statement. And as the name of the track suggests, Avelino lets all know that he has unbreakable faith in himself.
‘What Do They Know’ sees him touch on a more emotional aspect of himself, discussing the duality of dedication and indulgence that many are challenged with. The track has a strong story whilst being easily digestible so may well be an indication of what Avelino’s commercial sound will be like. And to certify that old school flavour on a new sonic palette, MC Neat Eclectic make an appearance on the track.
And closing the EP is Youniverse, a self affirming mantra that perfectly encapsulates Avelino’s powerful artistry. An honest selfishness balanced with a desire to provide for those closest is picked apart with a lyrical finesse that seems a lost art in many of today’s rappers. And as always Raf Riley adds those touches to make the tune eerily iconic.
Soak in ‘FYO’ properly and upon this evidence we’ve got a lot more to expect from Avelino. Stay locked!