When I first listened to Raury’s debut mixtape “Indigo Child” I thought it was a step too far. The mixtape combined hip hop with elements of folk, indie , soul and rock. With songs like “The Devil’s Whisper” and “Cigarette Song” , the Atlanta native got a lot of hype which earned him a spot on the XXL freshmen list. Let’s just say I’m not easily impressed, and I’ve been sleepin’ on him ever since but his latest project might have just changed my mind.

“All We Need” is Raury’s debut full length studio LP, and it’s just a pot of vigorous creativity. The LP is labelled as alternative Hip-Hop, and that’s probably the best description considering how many different sounds and elements you will hear in this album. I love how he manages to blend so many different genres together, creating this interesting and kaleidoscopic body of work.

I was pleasantly surprised with his lyrical finesse on this project as compared to “Indigo Child”. He even explored his conscious side on the song “Forbidden Knowledge” featuring Big K.R.I.T, which is probably my favorite song on the album. After listening to it I definitely understood where all his Andre 3000 comparisons came from. It feels like he had a deeper focus on the type of messages he wanted to put across on this LP and his execution was really impressive.

Not only does Raury rap, he sings, plays guitar and produces his music as well. I’m all about widening the spectrum when it comes to Hip-Hop ,that is… experimenting with other sounds and getting rid of the dumb stereotypes that Hip-hop is just about violence, drugs or money.  I endorse any rapper who brings in their own stylistic vision and touch and is able to blend it with the genre in an  attractive way. Think any fan of Hip-hop and Alternative music should give “All We Need” a listen. The fact that Raury is only 19(same age as me ayy) is so cool because he can only get better now and has so much time to improve and learn. (NB: That album cover is just timeless don’t you think?)

Notable tracks: Forbidden Knowledge, Friends, Trap Tears

TCW RATING: 6.5/10

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