Bands to Watch: Milk+Syrup's P. Blackk and Fabrashay A
Alive bestowed "Band to Watch" honors on Milk+Syrup's best-known emcee, L.e for the Uncool, back when he was a member of Fly.Union in 2008. Now we turn our spotlight on his younger cohorts, P. Blackk and Fabrashay A.
Both rappers are young and ambitious. Both spit like they've spent a lot of time bumping artsy-but-commercial emcees like Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco. But a spin through their discography shows two distinct artists at work.
Fab, 21, dropped his "No Substance" mixtape in 2009, but 2010's "The Art Show" was his proper introduction.
The concept was simple: Art is more than just museum exhibits. Music is art. Storytelling is art. Life is art. You take the ingredients you're dealt, and you create.
For Fab, that meant patiently picking out beats when he was too unknown to get most producers' attention.
"I just took my time. I didn't rush into it," Fab said. "I kind of was scrapping."
"The Art Show" showcased Fab's wide-eyed flow, reminiscent of a less self-absorbed Drake with rougher edges. Fab's next project, "The Game Ain't What You Think It Is," drops later this year, after he rolls out a slew of videos from "The Art Show."
P, 19, is more laid-back and smooth, like Q-Tip at his mellowest or Slick Rick without the skeeze. The CCAD student painted brilliant lyrical imagery on a pair of 2010 mixtapes, variety platter "Chicken N' Waffles" and capital city love letter "It's Always Sunny in Columbus."
His "Concorde Rollin" video tallied more than 16,000 YouTube views, and his recordings impressed Chicago rap promoter Hustle Simmons, who invited P to the Windy City for a show this February.
Iye from Fly.Union is producing P's upcoming "Blackk Friday," a darker, more streamlined project.
"I kind of just wanted to stay in one lane and show off my lyrical ability," P said.
Then there's "Dukes of Hazzard," a joint release by Fab and P, coming later this year.
Should be epic. The busier these dudes get, the more they excel.