Aaron Alexander brings life to hip hop via death

If you haven’t heard of Aaron Alexander by now, you’re not following the evolution of Hip-Hop in Kansas City. His Latest release, Memento Mori, however, is a sound you probably haven’t heard.

Released on October’s Friday the 13th, the project is dark, yet fresh and vivid—and it doesn’t sound like Tech N9NE or Rich the Factor. Nor does it sound like a rushed and trendy Soundcloud rapper release.

From content, to production, to lyrical technique and presentation, the 22-year-old UMKC Psychology and Communications student has something special among his rap peers. This explains why he’s been on the radar of major hip-hop blogs like Pigeons and Planes, SOHH, and Fake Shore Drive. Alexander has also been featured in go-to local media outlets like The Star and The Pitch.

After a quick search of his presence and music, it’s evident that he’s serious about his craft and seemingly works hard to make it stand out.

The project plays on the unknown things of life, and—like the meaning of the phrase/symbol the album is titledthe reminder is everyone dies eventually. It starts with Alexander questioning a personified Father Time.

“…but I been calling Father Time lately/He never wanna pick up, just wanna ask you why the people in my city die right after they graduate…”

This question is seen throughout the project as he raps about making the most of his opportunities as he avoids any external forces that might cut his lifespan short and feels happy to be alive.

Sonically, his go-to producer, B-Will, supplied (entirely) a platform that provides the feel of death through slowed samples, deep voices, dark melodies and more. Alexander matches it perfectly by not only featuring R&B singers like Love, Mae C. but also providing his own slow, reminiscent and painful vocals.

This lingering theme continues even as the album speeds up a little after track five. Songs like “Dying Need” and “Someday” embody the meaning of the record.

Memento Mori differs from the sound of Alexander’s 2016 jazz-inspired release, Radiant Child.

The first one followed a really strict template that kind of locked me into a static sound,” said Alexander. “This one is different because I just made music that I really liked.”

The mood meshes well with the cold, eerie nights that the fall season offers. The songs flow well and uniquely include a jazzy interlude, creative ad-libs, and horror film-like sounds at the end of certain songs.

As much as we don’t want to think about it, Memento Mori supplies a reality that everyone will experience. By the end of the album, Alexander will have you questioning what kind of legacy you will leave behind and what are you willing to sacrifice to reach the success you want.

Listen to Memento Mori on all outlets through this link: http://smarturl.it/AaronAlexanderMM

Royce is a staff writer. Email him at rhandy@unews.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *