Thunderbird Gerard ft. Kenzie May – “Firewurx”

After releasing his solid T.R.O.U.B.L.E. EP, London-based emcee Thunderbird Gerard drops off “Firewurx,” a new single that delivers progression in both his beat selection and rapping.

With a melody reminiscent of Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love” (derived from a sample of Betty Wright most recently used on Chance the Rapper‘s “Favorite Song”), there’s a balance of lightness and melancholy to producer FTSE’s work on “Firewurx” that successfully complements Gerard’s sing-song delivery. It’s a bounce that develops and builds, layer upon layer, to a frenzied close. Recent P&P favorite Kenzie May comes along for the ride to deliver an enchanting pre-hook.

It’s a combo that seems reflective of one of indie rap’s current leanings, an attempt to blend eclectic sounds into digestible packages (again, Chance’s recent work comes to mind) by eschewing straight, no-frills rap (the Joey Badass model, another of indie rap’s current fixations) for something a bit more melodically inclined. It’s enjoyable and easily accessible without pandering directly to radio-friendly sensibilities.