I shook hands (because I'm awkward at “giving dap”, so awkward I use quotation marks) with a lot of rappers at CMJ, which was my primary motive of the week – see hip hop showcases and build with rappers. While kicking it with Intuition at Southpaw for the Blu show, I was introduced to 19-year old L.A. rapper Versis. Of the hand-to-hand music I received throughout the week, his debut Illcandescent is by far my favorite discovery.
I would have made the comparison had I not met Versis at a Blu show, but I cannot help likening Illcandescent to a fitting follow-up or companion piece to Below The Heavens. For all the complainers who wish Blu would stop meandering through lo-fi, shit-dubbed beats and return to the form of his lauded debut, give up the pipe-dreams and bury your ears in Versis' chronicles. He knows his style and that story-telling style is best heard over the soulful production of Brooklyn's T. Hemingway.
Versis is the little brother that's monitored his big brother's missteps and picked up where the legacy fell off. His debut is largely produced by T. Hemingway, although Versis managed to pluck two singles from L.A.'s Dibia$e and Exile. For as young as Versis is, he's intuitive to the necessary mechanics in crafting a cohesive sound on Illcandescent, a sound that is synonymous with producers like Exile and Dibia$e without breaking the bank on their highly sought production. He wasn't groomed like Fashawn and Blu, but set out on his own two to introduce his story to the masses.
Illcandescent is streaming in full here.