Album Review: Klassik's Winter EP
Monday, January 26, 2015 at 12:00 AM | Monifa Barker
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Following the release of his positively received collaborative sophomore LP, Young Rising Phenoms (YRP), back in 2013, Milwaukee rapper, singer and producer, Klassik delivers his latest set, Winter. The new EP is the first installment of Klassik's four-part project entitled Seasons. Pulling musical influences from iconic acts like Stevie WonderKanye West, John Coltrane, Pharell Williams and Steely Dan, Klassik continues to construct his own lane in the world of hip hop and neo-soul with his innovative approach to crafting songs that emit a timeless sound, a talent that in 2014 earned him recognition as one of the top ten Wisconsin artists to watch.

With a burgeoning reputation for tying in the old with the new, the Wisconsin musician implements an instrumental concoction of jazz, hip hop, soul, and funk as the backdrop to his swanky vocals, which omits the auto-tuned and materialistic braggadocio prevalent in most of the today's music. On the three-track set, Klassik weaves many intrinsic metaphors to explain a period of artistic journey marked by depression, isolation, and frustration before transitioning to warmer and brighter days. But let’s save the celebration that comes with warmer and brighter days for the next EP. 'STRNGRS,' the debut track, greets us with some boom bap production sprinkled with soulful vocalization throughout. Klassik then clears his throat and commences to spit some vivid, Outkast-esque lyrics about his journey to success as an emcee whilst disregarding naysayers.

The dreamy outro of the single foreshadows the half-dream, half-wake gist of the following track, 'Andromeda,' the EP's lead single featuring Bonelang. Here, Klassik showcases his creative edge at its best with an off-kilter rhyme scheme, polyharmonic hook and inventive wordplay. At first, Klassik's dabbling with the dynamics of a falsetto, uneven, dreamy flow and at times aggressive delivery over the record may compel you to says he sounds like a hybrid of will.i.am (early Black Eyed Peas days), Andre 3000 and Pharell Williams or maybe even early Maxwell. But, just as you are getting ready to try and put a direct finger on his musical style, Klassik flips the script, pulls you further into his musical kaleidoscope and dares to keep you there until the very end on the closing track, 'Mind Over Matter' feat. OYE

Though his rhyme scheme can be at times inconsistent, Klassik's ability to successfully paint a picture with words - whether he is singing or rhyming - using his solid production as the canvas whilst making borrowed musical styles from admired icons his own, deems him fit to sit amongst the new crop of elite rising stars. Take a listen to the Winter EP below and, expect Spring, the second installment to Klassik's Seasons project on February 14th.

Tags: Eargasmic, Klassik, R&B, hip hop, neo soul