Photo: Daniel Marty
“America, just like a rave, is built and thrown on beautiful principles.” explains Yoshi Flower, who just dropped his debut mixtape AMERICAN RAVER via GRDN/Interscope Records. “Those values have warped, the ‘dance-o-cracy’ seems stacked, forcing us to pick scripts that clash with our true selves in hopes for prosperity, survival and acceptance. Should we leave the party if we don’t fit in? Or can we re-build as a collective of individuals free to express ourselves authentically? We grew up being taught someone else’s version of what is, now we’re creating our own versions of what could be.”
The Detroit native writer, producer, and multi-genre artist, certainly showcases his metaphor of a rebuilt America through thirteen tracks that combine hip-hop, acoustic melodies, and poignant rave-ready beats. The dynamic body of work is absolutely addictive, as Yoshi Flower creates a world that’s unafraid to clash with accepted genre-norms. Further, the lyrical content of the mixtape carefully toes the line between satire and criticism, while staying incredibly conscious of the mixtape’s motifs. Lyrics, which range from subtle critiques of materialism to an embrace of overtly sexual rave-suited cliches, demonstrate Yoshi’s incredible ability to blend influences without appearing inauthentic. Additionally, the lyricism found on the mixtape is especially brilliant when these thematically conscious tracks are juxtaposed against the more self-reflective; the mixtape possesses a beautiful depth through this contrast.
Boasting features from Jesse Rutherford of The Neighbourhood, emerging artist, Reddish Blu, and faux “political” skits by Los Angeles comedian Brandon Wardell, the mixtape has no shortage of stand-out tracks. “FOR WHICH I DANCE,” which features Rutherford, is an R&B influenced earworm that balances lo-fi hip-hop beats with an irresistible groove to create an incredibly addictive track that possesses a cocktail of complex emotion. While the track may represent the culmination of Yoshi Flower’s genre-bending influence, tracks like “AND JUSTICE FOR SOME” and “OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” represents his opposite polar axes (of acoustic and dance respectively). Each track shines either in its ability to blend or stand out—effectively representing his diversity of sound through the lens of America’s diversity.
AMERICAN RAVER, with its twist on the iconic Springsteen album artwork for Born in the U.S.A., its own trackless pledge, and groove-heavy tracks, is set to become what pushes Yoshi Flower into the light—and solidify him as one of the most exciting and unique acts stepping up to the plate right now.
Listen to AMERICAN RAVER below: