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You wanna know who influences Incwell? Just look at the cover of his new album, Mahjong Rockstars. There’s Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, John Lennon, and Nina Simone. You see Sting, Marvin Gaye, Prince, and Jimi Hendrix.
You also hear those influences on the album. On the title track, for instance, Incwell and drummer Twink (of Mambo Sauce fame) build a volcanic rock tune that grows more frantic as it plays. The live-wire percussion and electric guitar could translate to a live setting. “Bottle Rockets,” featuring singers Reesa Renee and Kyonte, harbors a jazzy, early-morning ethos; Inc uses the bright melody to do some dream chasing.
Elsewhere, Incwell gets personal on “Time Corrupts Us All,” a string-infused slow burner on which the Silver Spring rapper addresses regret—regret for being too distant, regret for ignoring his little cousin: “Your cold appearance seems like it should be so revealing/But I ain’t know this ’cause I’m too busy to call/I’m too busy to care, our relationship has dissolved.” It’s a sharp contrast from the festive hip-hop he usually creates, but it shows Incwell’s storytelling ability.
In its totality, Mahjong Rockstars offers a narrative that feels deeper than today’s “turn up” rap. It’s a full, clear-headed story and presents another side to Incwell’s multifaceted creativity. Stream Mahjong Rockstars after the jump.