Ready or Not is an album from Erik Cain, an independent hip-hop artist originally from huntsville, AL. Erik cites his influences as J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, and Chance the Rapper. His songs are vocally driven, with a delivery fueled by pure passion. Many rappers are willing to show an emotional side every now and then, but this guy really pours his heart and soul into every line. Some tracks like Heart Gold feature a minimalist piano backing, while others have a groovy, almost ’70s style retro record player vibe. Every stage of the music, from performance to production is extremely professional in quality, something listeners will sense almost immediately. It’s a clean, flawless and sonically pleasing album with a lot of variety. What separates it from mere “pop” is really the substance. There’s real concrete stuff here and Erik is willing to dive deep into his emotions. Nothing superficial or cliche to be found in these recordings. A crowded genre, hip hop is becoming an increasingly difficult category to standout in. However, with this release, Erik Cain proves his music is truly a cut above. He has what it takes to go all the way.
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