America’s Southern States are spawning a hot new wave of urban artists, with producer turned rapper Ande Bishop on a meteoric rise at the forefront of the movement.
The latest to emerge from the prolific American Roulette camp, he first cut his teeth by providing production on the “False Hope” EP for stablemate Londn Blue released in 2014. However the expansion beyond the desk and onto the mic has its roots firmly planted in the range of influences which have come to define him as an artist.
Only since 2012 did the experimentation with the production processes begin, sampling and mashing together 70’s Soul, 90’s R&B and some Erykah Badu with Southern kicks. However Ande, now operating from both Alabama and Atlanta, has always been a student of the lyrical game, citing Blu & Exile’s “Below the Heavens” and the Tupac masterpiece “Me Against The World” as “probably the 2 most important rap albums I’ve ever heard”.
His engagement with the multiple styles prevalent throughout the world of hip hop & rap, whether the classic West Coast sound or that of Lil Wayne and T.I., have built within him a versatility to take, adapt and modernize the core elements of each genre.
2015 has already proven to be a landmark year. Having received a phenomenal response to his “50 Centences” debut track premiered by The Source in January, the subsequent “$77.43” tore up the internet and enjoyed widespread radio support with a sound strongly reminiscent of Outkast. Weeks later one of the States’ most rapidly growing labels Seven 13 Entertainment came calling and signed him on to their ever increasing roster in time to release his debut EP “Ocean$ – Extended Play” on 19th May.
The EP represents the signatory production style, a combination of soul and r&b samples injected with contemporary electronic kicks, beats and keys with Ande’s piercing lyricism cutting through to the fore. The first official single and video released from the EP, “MoneyorFriendz”, presents the dichotomy with a mature intelligence backed by production from Taylor $upreme (Freddie Gibbs, Yukmouth, Trae tha Truth).
Subtle diversity is a recurring theme as producer Omito infuses Southern traditions with a gospel flavour underpinning “How It Feels” followed by the electronic soundscape provided by Taylor $upreme on “Old Jay-Z Videos”, while “O.G Jaylon” and “Roll Credits” expand the dynamic of a sound which is born of The South but reaches out beyond boundaries.
The successful merging of influences on a highly polished debut EP is impressive for such a young artist and goes some considerable way in explaining his sharp increase in popularity with an ever increasing fan base. A fact that hasn’t been lost on several major publications already.
Ande Bishop is set to be one of the leading lights from the Southern scene for years to come. “Ocean$ – Extended Play” is just the beginning…..
“Ocean$ EP releases on Seven 13 Entertainment on 19th May 2015
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