This week we take a closer look at YG Hypnos’ ‘Flavors’
Hailing from Hollywood, Florida, YG Hypnos has had an interesting relationship with music. His love for Hip Hop came from his Sister as well as kids he grew up with. At 23 his Father unfortunately fell ill and passed away. Using music as an outlet for everything going on, he began his production journey. Crafting his sound through this time, he attributes a lot of his progress to the community: ‘The amount of friends and fam I’ve made on this journey is crazy. There is so much support in the Lo-Fi Hip-Hop/Beat making scene which has really kept me going.’ ‘Flavors’ is his latest album but how does this new project factor into YG’s journey?
True to the album’s namesake ‘Flavors’ is a delight to the palette. If beats were cooking this would be a smorgasbord of simple ingredients done well, with bravery and integrity. Each beat on this album is stripped back, raw and organic. The samples are treated with just enough of YG’s signature dust to give them edge but they still retain the presence of the source. Same can be said for the drums. With a clear funk on each rhythm, YG presents his musical ideas in an un-fussed and simple manner. Letting the core flavours seep through without too much interference. On 'Cherry’, for example, YG blends a sumptuous piano line and with wonderfully thick drums. YG works with this arrangement beautifully. Not adding or taking away anything. Just letting the pure goodness of the sounds speak for themselves.
The danger with a quasi conceptual album like ‘Flavors’ is a reliance on stereotype to tell the album’s story. Thankfully this is a challenge YG has skilfully navigated. Speaking with him, YG explained: ‘The concept for this album kind of just came to me as I was working on it. I wanted to have different styles and vibes on each track. I wanted each track to provoke a different emotion. Much like the different flavours for each track name, they all are a different but still fit under the same category if that makes sense?’
The conceptual aspect is a guide in essence. Individual tracks express individual experiences and emotion but the overall concept ties the music together into a cohesive body of work. For example ‘Kiwi’ is a clean, fresh palette cleanser of a beat. Within the confines of the project it makes total sense but equally it could put it out as a single and it would still have that refreshing effect. You can take any track on ‘Flavors’ at face value or you can simply enjoy the ride. Either route is viable, beautiful and deeply satisfying.
The key nuance of ‘Flavours’ is the rawness of the production. YG has approached each track with the same end goal; to create a moving piece of art. In ‘Flavors’ this manifests as nothing undue being added or taken away. There are Ginsu sharp chops on here but there are also a fair amount of looped melodies too. The clarity of vision is what sets this project apart production wise. Whether a beat took 20 minutes to craft or 20 weeks, the listener comes away with the same weight of emotion. What's most important is that the feeling lingers after the beat is done. This is no small task and takes equal parts skill and confidence. YG Hypnos walks that tightrope deftly on ‘Flavors’.
‘Flavors’ is a glorious buffet of beats. The production is deceptively deep and executed incredibly well. YG Hypnos has managed to serve up his musical vision in the rawest form possible and the cohesive theme of the album belies how individual the tracks are. Every time you listen to this piece you will find another morsel of deliciousness to be enjoyed. The beats on ‘Flavors’ showcase this young producer’s talent for delivering the purest form of expression to his listeners.
Listen to ‘Flavor’s here:
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