Milwaukee Artist of the Week – 4/10/15 – Lorde Fredd33

This week’s Milwaukee Artist of the Week is Lorde Fredd33, one of several names buzzing in the city’s hip hop scene. He’s a member of the out-of-the-box collective New Age Narcissism, and that’s very apparent on his latest EP, “33: The Education”. His style is all about delivery, with a spastic tone to it at times. More than anything, he is full of originality, which is something that couldn’t be said about Milwaukee hip hop, much less hip hop in general, for a long time.

Things begin with “100 Miles”, a track that eases you into Fredd33’s sound, with a smooth flow throughout, and a saxophone solo at the end to boot. Things pick up with the Khiri-produced “Inherlude”, where the beat is just as laid back, but the verses are anything but. This is the first real chance to hear Fredd33 spit in his normal, sort of all over but kinda not way. “Foreign” is a little bit bouncier, and Fredd33 comes in with his flow pushing the track forward. There’s also a little bit of subtle harmony to the hook, but it’s not so over the top that it sounds like he is reaching.

“Nacho Girl” is a slowed-down, trippy track. With some screwed vocals and a jazz sample, this track has a real late-night feel to it. While the tempo might be on the lower end of the BPM scale, you can’t help but rock along with it. That’s followed by “Limb”, which features a bright, glistening piano. Producer Q The Sun definitely provided Lorde Fredd33 with a great canvas to work with throughout this EP, having worked on five of the seven tracks. Fredd33’s flow provides ample bounce to offset the bright instrumentation, giving the tracks even more life.

Things round out with “Time” and “MWME”. The first of these tracks is a wandering, spacy song, much in line with the rest of the project. “MWME” is the other track not produced by Q The Sun, but Sani does a good job of staying with that same motif. Things close out on a good note, with another track that you can bounce along to, even though it carries a mostly laid back tempo.

Lorde Fredd33 is just one of a wave of new artists in Milwaukee that are emphasizing the creative part of their music. Rather than falling into the mold, they’re breaking it, much in the style of artists like Tyler, The Creator and Chance the Rapper that have found their voice outside of the conventional hip hop format. Lorde Fredd33 is definitely deserving of those comparisons, as well as the whole of New Age Narcissism. Look for many more exciting things in the future.

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