It has been a year since 21-year-old rapper, producer, and songwriter Kweku Collins released his critically-acclaimed EP Grey, but by no means has the rising hip-hop star remained quiet. The past week has seen the Illinois-based artist announce his Ones To Watch presented “Tour One,” and today sees him releasing an experimental, introspective new single.
“ET,” Collins’ first new music in over a year, serves as a superb reminder as to what makes the Illinois rapper such a fascinating act to follow. Taking a cue from his most popular single to date, “Lonely Lullabies,” which built on a looped sample from British indie folk band Daughter, “ET” pulls from disparate influences to create a sound that is uniquely its own. Opening on a series of gentle guitar strumming, the backdrop that Collins immediately breathes into life is one of temperate emotional intensity. The booming production that quickly follows the acoustic guitar creates a juxtaposition that is innately beautiful, escaping simple explanation.
Producing, writing, and performing all of “ET” himself, the song is a testament to Collins as an artist in the truest sense of the world. His lyricism leaves nothing to be desired, as he shifts between melodic rap and free-flowing poetry with such ease that it should be criminal. Indeed, this is more than just a stunning piece of hip-hop music. “ET” could be championed as an exquisite piece of poetry, production, rap, or art rock, and every single statement would ring equally true.
Listen to “ET” and make sure not to miss Kweku Collins on tour this fall: