There is a revolutionary musical movement happening in our city that has been growing at breakneck speeds and is ready to explode at any given moment, thanks in large part to one incredibly ambitious artist.
Milwaukee rapper and former UW-Milwaukee student WebsterX held a “listening disco” at the Var Gallery on South 2nd Street Saturday night for an early unveiling of his new three-track EP. The EP was produced by Q The Sun, long-time collaborator with WebsterX and member of the local collective New Age Narcissism. The new EP, entitled KidX, is heavily influenced by Radiohead’s seminal 2000 album Kid A, with every sample for the tracks being taken directly from the album.
“Kid A was just so new and progressive for its time, and that’s exactly the energy we were trying to get from this EP,” said WebsterX, eager to talk about his new project.
The energy and excitement were utterly palpable in the room as friends, fans and collaborators all packed into the gallery and waited with high hopes for the first listen. WebsterX was doing double duty as the DJ for most of the night, knowing exactly what to play to hype up the audience. Once he was ready to play it in its entirety for the first, everyone gathered around and channeled their focus to the amazing work they were about to hear.
KidX sounded like the work of a seasoned veteran at his creative peak, certainly not a man in his early twenties with just a couple years under his belt. Instrumentally, it was everything you could possibly want when you think of Radiohead influenced hip hop. The ambient, experimental vibe is sonically brilliant. The beat and attitude of the tracks change on a whim, with excellent transitions and common threads to keep the EP a cohesive unit. Vocally, WebsterX shines with some of the most unique flow you’ll hear in hip hop today. He complements every track with absolute ease, with impressive vocals and lyricism that perfectly reflect on who he is as an artist. KidX was a totally incredible experience to listen to in this setting, with the artist himself clearly marveling at the work he’s done and the effect it’s having in the community.
From that point on, the night was a jubilant celebration of this amazing work, with the realization that we all were given the chance to hear this EP days before it inevitably blows up. The excitement for the future was in the air and in the face of WebsterX, who is more than ready to prove to his city and the world what he’s capable of accomplishing. I, for one, could not be more excited for what he and the rest of the music scene will have to offer us, with KidX making it evident that big things are ahead.
WebsterX will be releasing KidX on Tuesday, November 17, and it will be available through his SoundCloud. I highly suggest checking out his other work as well, all of which is equally unlikely to disappoint.
In the eloquent words of not only myself, but the vast majority of the people in that gallery Saturday night, “It’s lit, fam.”