Genre-Breaking Loverboy Music: How Yeek breaks barriers with his "Blackheart" EP
Written by Kolin Miller
Jersey-born and Florida-raised Yeek is anything but a single-tier artist. A producer, singer-songwriter, rapper, and multi-instrumentalist all wrapped into one young and imaginative artist is making his own waves in the cacophonic industry. iTunes lists his new project Blackheart as “pop,” however, it is evident that there are so many other influences at play within each individual track, that whoever decided to describe it as “pop” was probably just making their best guess at what genre would most accurately describe the sound.
Some major themes present in the project are: neo-R&B, melodic hip-hop counterculture, early 2000’s rock-ballad instrumentation, new-age synthesizers, introspective as well as simple lyrics to be taken at face value, and lastly some obvious inspiration from the more somber work of Frank Ocean mixed with an almost – dare I say – Fleet Foxes/Ben Howard/Young Lean/Justin Vernon-esque approach to some vocal elements, especially in tracks like “Bed,” or “Blood Shot.”
Prior to this project, I felt like there was going to be an emerging niche within the industry falling somewhere between hip-hop, neo-R&B, Emo-Indie punk, and the darkness infatuated indie-soul music in the vein of Spooky Black.
With the hip-hop industry’s current infatuation with emo/punk culture – see Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Tracy, Lil Peep, Young Thug’s wardrobe, etc. – I believed it to be inevitable for someone like Yeek to emerge. Might I say thank god! Within this speculative hopefulness I harbored about whoever would bridge the gap between the aforementioned sub-genres, I remained a little apprehensive in fear that whoever would emerge would be – for lack of a better word – an industry plant. To clarify, I have nothing fully against so-called “industry-plants” as I feel like they are the opposite end of the spectrum of musical advancement from the avant-garde, and their role is necessary in the progression of music, and furthermore, some of it actually sounds nice once-in-awhile! What I actually feared was that whoever would emerge in this niche sound, would not only be an industry plant, but an un-original, fake, plasticine, dishonest “artist” who would kill the legitimacy of said sub-genre before it even had a chance – coughcoughLilliamXanathancoughcough. However, I was pleasantly surprised by what Yeek had in store within his latest release.
The production itself is very sleek, honest, and genuine, which is something I personally yearn for as an avid music listener. If I feel like the music behind the vocalist sounds as if it were sloppily slapped together into an mp3 file, I don’t care if Freddy Mercury himself is singing a self-written piece straight from the heart, I will not be able to believe, much less, enjoy the song. Yeek obviously has a good ear for his production, as each instrument fills a carefully selected role to contribute to a consistent overall sound.
As there are only five songs on this project, I feel as if I would spoil the EP if I dove in too much more to it. I would definitely recommend everyone give this a listen whether it sounds like something you would enjoy or not, as it is merely 16 minutes long, and boasts a plethora of elements from many genres – mentioned and not mentioned – that at least one song is bound to connect with listeners of all palettes.
I look forward to seeing Yeek’s career unfold completely and what the industry has in store for him as well as what role he will take on and what sounds he has in store for us listeners.
Listen to his whole project below, and follow him here