Alyst Drops New Single
Conceptualism is everywhere in hip-hop right now, from the music to the fashion to the very structure of the culture itself, and nowhere is this more obvious than when taking a look at some of the top-tier content emerging from the underground channels this winter.
Where in the past a lot of indie players didn’t dare to get extraordinarily experimental when stepping into the booth, we’re seeing a different kind of generation coming out of the woodwork in 2022 and expanding the horizons for hip-hop and contemporary pop as a whole – case in point, the latest dispatches from one Alyst. Alyst was bumping incredible beats all year in 2021, and he isn’t wasting any time this January in keeping the momentum rolling with a new collaborative single with Affluent Oscar Sanchez in “Gold,” which I would easily rank as one of the best tracks to land in his discography so far. Rather than resting on what he’s already established for himself inside of the studio, this single sees Alyst push the envelope further on the instrumental end, avoiding the minimalism of his peers, and cutting into more metaphorical lyricism than some might have predicted him capable of.
The construction of “Gold” comes right out of the surreal pop movement, specifically with regards to the influence it takes from chamber pop revivalists. There’s nowhere to run with these grooves coming between my man and the substance of the bassline, but he isn’t sweating the lack of space at all – contrarily, he appears to be thriving in this kind of setting. There’s a strong R&B presence in the harmonies, but not to the extent where the hook starts to sound a little saccharine with the hard rapping coming into the spotlight.
There’s no arguing that Alyst has as soulful a delivery as we could ask out of a hip-hop artist with a penchant for bigger beats than ballads, and the contrast between the tone of his execution and that of his actual lyrics is actually exciting, at least from where I sit. He’s got charisma, and he isn’t restricting that to one aspect of this premium cut off of the soon-to-be-released Hits Now Questions Later.
I didn’t know much about Alyst ahead of hearing his slew of successful releases in 2021, but the more I listen the more I start to value the hype his career has been getting from the press in recent years. He’s got a fine collaborator in Affluent Oscar Sanchez, and if this were the last time they shared a studio, I think it wouldn’t be great for either of their careers. They bring a lot out of each other and the material they’re playing, and if they explore more of their artistic abilities alongside each other I see both of their discographies getting more attention from fans around the globe. Alyst isn’t frontin’ in “Gold,” and from what I can tell this is just a snippet of what’s still to come.