Courtesy of Heartless the Monster
Through a consistent string of releases, Alamo City-based rapper Heartless the Monster has captivated listeners with smooth, baritone vocals and lyrics that dissect love and relationships.
Now, on his most recent single “Guava,” the artist is moonwalking into pop territory while still retaining his intoxicating rap pheromones. The move seems to be paying off: the track’s racked up 40,000 streams on Spotify since its June 29 release.
When asked about swimming into more accessible waters with the new single, Heartless explained that he felt restricted as a hip-hop artist. A move toward pop brings greater opportunity for self-expression.
“Hip-hop is one of those genres that doesn’t want you to do anything else,” said the rapper, who was born Nigel Williams. “If you’re a pop star, you’re allowed to do whatever the fuck you want. Ed Sheeran can sing a ballad about his wife and no one bats an eye, and then he can rap and do a cover of [Blackstreet’s] “No Diggity” with [Passenger] and everyone’s cool with that. Justin Bieber can drop a rap verse whenever he wants to. Ariana Grande can drop a rap verse on “7 Rings” if she wants to. Or she can drop a Christmas album. Or she can do a sexy, sultry R&B thing. If you’re a pop star, you can do whatever you want.”
And on “Guava” Williams puts that notion to the test. The track starts off with reverberating vocal melodies and distant steel drums before he enters singing, “I don’t play no games and you don’t say you’re sorry / If you don’t feel the same, tell me what you want from me.”
A pulsating bass drum travels under Williams’ vocals as he segues into a rap. The juxtaposition of vocal styles adds more texture and depth to the song, which is rounded out by a solid mix. All told, the track sounds like it could slide onto the airwaves between hits from the aforementioned Sheeran and Grande.
“Guava” is the first single off Heartless the Monster’s forthcoming album Confetty, due out next Valentine’s Day. Until then, the artist will be releasing a new track off the album more-or-less monthly, along with accompanying visuals. The next, “Say What You Say,” is expected to drop Tuesday, September 8, on all streaming platforms.
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