Wednesday 17 July 2013


It's been a while since we've heard from Cory Jreamz - for those who don't know, this young guy is an up-and-coming rapper from Houston, Texas. You could call it alternative rap, but it's quite difficult to compare Mr Jreamz to anybody in particular: he is his own creation. Which is a very good thing.

Last time the world heard from him it was at the end of last year with his Vague Current Vivid Fated EP, four songs that run through the fantasies and frustrations of youth. I wrote about it - check it out.

Now he's back with a new song: 'Howl'. Alongside sharing its name with Allen Ginsberg's iconic and "obscene" poem - a frantic and wordy shout to the world - Cory Jreamz has peppered it with lyrics that reference other art-world-related things, such as trying to be "better than Ernest Hemingway" and putting a "black man in the MoMa". It overflows with the desire to create art, dismissing those who dismiss this desire as a pipe dream with a suggestion: "stick it up your anus".

You can even see this intense attitude in the video; Jreamz directs his diatribal one-liners at the camera, keen and fervid.

Aside from CJ's voice itself, whose words strike and reverberate poignantly, the music itself is biting and affective. Experimental at heart, a barely decipherable beat hides itself behind these fluidly rippling sounds, a watery, dreamlike feel to them. An occasional bassline almost gets the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. An eastern-like twanging of a stringed instrument boils in the background, a cycle of sharp sounds to go with the growl of the vocals. It's a heavy atmosphere.

It's a nicely unique sound, one that's genuinely a sonic howl into the air, a short statement of intent to the world - and I'm glad it's coming from someone like Cory Jreamz, a thoughtful and thinking guy standing on the fringes of rap and hip hop looking to external influences for inspiration, expanding his mind. We'll be hearing his next single, 'Swim' on 1st August, after which we'll be looking forward to his album The Lonely Painter, expected later this year.

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