Julian Malone has steadily been building a buzz to the release of his next project, Diff.RNT, which is long overdue. The Chicago emcee and founding member of the 2008igthies collective, has run into a couple of speed bumps this past year, including repeatedly delaying his anticipated mixtape. However, his consistent singles and twitter presence has been enough to quell any fan uprising or desertion that might have happened during this long waiting period. Malone's newer tracks exemplify his artist growth and experimentation; each is approached in a unique way, testing the young musician's talents or ideas. They are intriguing enough to warrant the extra time he is putting into the mixtape and make the lack of a release date a little easier to swallow.
This past week, he dropped two new songs for fans to sink their teeth into. "Sketches" is the mellower of the two, with some explicit Drake or 808's era Kanye West. Malone sounds incredibly sentimental on this track, crooning over a beat that was probably birthed in the tears of a Casio Keyboard. Questioning his success and its consequences on his life, he sounds ready to give it all up to go back home and never leave his bed again. Although, towards the end, he picks himself up and begins to go berserk; unleashing a lyrical barrage on listeners and promising to be better than his haters. The entire arch has a very OVO feel to it, but in this day and age, that's not a bad thing.
"Fear" might sound like the more Drakesh song, and you wouldn't be too wrong. It is more upbeat and confrontational than "Sketches", but it still focuses on the same themes and messages. He continues to describe his insecurities in himself or his unfamiliarity with the gifts of fame, but never giving up or in. Of the two songs, this one feels more like his previous work, since he doesn't sing for a substantial amount of time.
Hopefully Diff.RNT is on its way, and will get here quickly. Julian Malone is an artist that has a lot of potential and his creativity is always on display. His music has an addicting quality to it, so if you caught the bug with these two, you should definitely head down to his soundcloud for more.