Published Aug 25, 2014If the last while hasn't made this point clear, let me spell it out for you: Raury is a thing. Championed by Kanye West, featured on the new SBTRKT album, opening for Outkast and recently signed to Universal Records, who are flying critics in to see his NYC debut… Raury is set to blow up. Does his debut mixtape, Indigo Child, warrant this type of attention? Well, yes and no. The kid's undeniably talented. And ambitious. And thirsty. He knows he wants something, what that is is anybody's guess. He's obviously listened to a lot of early Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne and Frank Ocean, with a splash of 808s & Heartbreaks-era Kanye West for good measure. Is he able to take all of these influences, synthesize them and make them his own? Not quite yet.
Vancouver Sleep Clinic-assisted "Superfly," the mixtape's only collaboration, is basically a cover of Kid Cudi's "Day 'n' Nite," without it being an actual cover. But there's definitely promise layered prominently all over Indigo Child. Peppered with real-life interludes of iPhone-recorded conversations (including fights) with his mother about his intentions to pursue his musical career, the mixtape switches gears so often it's hard to pinpoint what exactly the end result is. But even with this massive amalgam of influences and genres, Raury is still able to stand front and centre. His ideas may be undercooked, and his lyrics youthful if not outright immature, but he has a masterful command of his sound, even if it can't be defined just yet. It's easy to see why excitement surrounding Raury is sky high; give him an executive producer who can reel in all the extremes, and you've got a real force to be reckoned with. (Independent)