In a world where the near complete history of rap can be accessed at the click of a mouse (or, at most laborious, a few carefully worded Google searches and maybe four or five mouse clicks), it’s no surprise that a greater proportion of rappers seem more technically proficient at an earlier stage than their predecessors. Prodigies like Earl Sweatshirt and Joey Bada$$ often stand head and shoulders above those in their age bracket, but even a quick cruise through the twisting halls of Soundcloud will reveal no shortage of aspiring emcees who can’t legally drink or, in some cases, drive, but can piece words together with impressive skill.
The issue with many of these rappers (and what separates an Earl from an every-teen) is not how they rap, but what they rap about. Too often the content simply isn’t that interesting, the characters not that intriguing.
17 year-old rapper Ameer Vann has impressed before with his effortless flow, but it is not his technique alone that compels. On his self-titled EP, his natural talent is a clear draw and, at times, the main event, but his uncommon existential exploration–particularly on highlight “Untitled”–suggests that he’s an artist with more insight than our first encounter with him might have suggested.
Somewhere between Drake’s indulgent status-update-rap and Earl’s occasional self-deprecating soul displays, Vann finds expression both revealing and relatable, head in the stars with a hand on his heart searching for the right roadmap to dreams. Its a tried and true perspective imbued with life by the sharpness of Vann’s perceptions and his ample rapping ability.