“The Fuel” is the title single off the NY hip hop duo’s EP which is set to be released on Friday (Nov 20th). The track is huge, anthemic and slides into a recess between soul, boom bap drum-centric hip-hop and pop. Emcee Koncept and producer/emcee (only producer on this project) J57, along with soul artist Akie Bermiss have forged a truly infectious hit with “The Fuel”. The organ at the center of the production coalesces with Bermiss’ vocals to a level that is nearly seamless, and Koncept skillfully jabs between J57’s drums weaving passionate tales of woe and survival. The song works as a logical selection to the pop zeitgeist with a insanely catchy and brazenly soulful hook by Bermiss, but it still has its feet planted in the lush lawns of hip hop. J57’s production work over the last decade runs from Dilla-esque sample-driven tracks to the decidedly more accessible, synth-laden, arena sound of Kon and J57’s first single off The Fuel EP, “Porcelain”.
Both Koncept and J57 have been fixtures in independent hip hop for some time, both as members of the New York hip hop collective the Brown Bag AllStars and as solo artists. Based on the first two singles, this new project seems to be reaching for something higher, an attempt to settle on another plane of notoriety and accessibility perhaps. But at the same time, their sound feels like a natural progression, and the moments that veer into the pop landscape do so with a level of cohesion that grounds the project. This record is not some calculated stab- The Fuel EP is clearly the music Koncept and J57 want to make. It is massive, passionate, arena hip hop, with a very talented producer and emcee at its core and a cadre of impressive collaborators.
You can watch the video for “The Fuel” below, and pre-order The Fuel EP on iTunes (the EP drops this Friday Nov.20th) and if you’re in the New York area, Brooklyn Brewery is hosting a listening party for the duo from 7-10pm tomorrow (Nov.20th).