If you innovate enough, you just may get to see the work and style you created get bitten by someone less creative. For over fifteen years that’s been what’s occurred in the world of hip hop. Granted, it happens throughout music as well; but La Porte’s B L A C K I E has been so far ahead of hip hop, that most artists couldn’t get to his level with someone navigating their past. From his self titled debut E.P. to his most recent album Remains, B L A C K I E has stayed ahead of everyone else while staying true to himself and his vision. Self producing, writing and recording his own material were just a few of the reasons while we interviewed the rapper producer for out podcast Self Released Songs.
You have to understand that in 2005, there really wasn’t genre mixing in rap. Just a few years out of the Screw era, rap and particularly Houston rap had heard nothing like B L A C K I E when his debut dropped. Born in La Porte and raised in the small town, there’s few artists with the outright honesty that you hear in his music. His next two albums Wilderness of North America and Spred Luv are two of the darkest hip hop albums of their time. Between experimental tones and grime graced beats, the deeply emotional weight of Wilderness of North America alone would crush any other artist.
However it’s Spred Luv where the darker themes take a turn for the better. While Spred Luv is one of the most forward albums in hip hop, it was definitely light years ahead of its time when it dropped in 2009. Touring the globe at festivals and shows proved that the world may not have been ready for the intensity of his live sets either. If you’ve seen the rapper in person you can attest that it will be life altering and only the true fans stay in the pit.
The next three albums from B L A C K I E keep taking his sound further and further past anyone else, keeping his sound no less than five years ahead of everyone in the game. With his next release Imagine Yourself In A Free And Natural World, he adds live saxophone to take you further into te abyss while his vocals become more harsh and enlightening. His latest release Remains continues to take hip hop places that no one expected it to go. More dystopian and bleak, the expansive use of the saxophone and the drone clipped beats proves that B L A C K I E will always be the innovator and never the impersonator. With a new album in the works, what comes next is anyone’s guess. But you can bet it won’t sound like anyone else.
The entire B L A C K I E catalog is available to stream or purchase directly from Bandcamp. The podcast can be streamed on this website or on all podcast streaming platforms. It can be supported on Anchor.
Image Credits: Photo by Daniel Jackson.