The process of creating and releasing music in 2022 has a microwavable feel that is evidenced by new stars disappearing just as quickly as they rose. This is in large part to the role social media plays in society. On their debut album, Pittsburgh-based emcee/producer super-duo Grxwn Fxlks (Masai Turner & Akil Esoon), have made it their mission to make music that creates a lasting bond with Hip-Hop’s most disenfranchised demographic – adults. Setting up shop in New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta to collaborate with the greats and utilize world-renowned facilities, the duo conceptualized a project that is far cry from the all too repetitive subject matter found in the culture’s mainstream. The result is their crowning achievement titled Volume I: Independent.
“Instead of following trends or best practices, [Grxwn Fxlks] believe in creating products that the mainstream will find “edgy,” but which niche audiences will relate to in a deep way.” –Forbes Magazine
Volume I: Independent is a confluence of positive vibes, social awareness, cultural pride, and street wisdom. The magnificent turntable wizardry of 2-time Grammy Award-Winner DJ Jazzy Jeff is featured on the eponymous track “Grxwn Fxlks”. The uber soulful, 3-time Grammy Award-nominee Raheem DeVaughn assists with one of the album’s standouts “Magic” — a love letter to the magical qualities every good woman should be appreciated for. Veteran Bronx emcee, activist, and author Mysonne trades rhymes about the ills of street life with Masai on “Let’s Talk About It” over a healthy dose of boom-bap provided by Akil Esoon. Rhymesayers Entertainment’s singer/songwriter Nikki Jean contributes her charming cameo stylings on the closing track “One”.
As if the well-placed peppering of features wasn’t enough, Grxwn Fxlks collaborated with an A-List of legendary engineers to evolve their sound. Grammy Award-Winners Neal Pogue (Tyler the Creator, Outkast), Derek “MixedbyAli” Ali (Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller), Mike Bozzi (J Cole, Nas), Elton “L10MixedIt” Cheung (Chance The Rapper, Kehlani) and several notable others are credited throughout this project’s liner notes. A debut, independent album with the heavy hitters above is a testament to the group’s relationship-based approach to everything they do.
Grxwn Fxlks’ first single “Celebrate” has reached over 1 million streams since its release. The majority of those streams came from the 33–54-year old demographic – another anomaly for a Hip-Hop outfit releasing their first song. Thousands of comments, shares, and purchases later, Grxwn Fxlks has their proof of concept. Released via The Orchard – subsidiary of Sony Music, Volume I: Independent is shaping up to be a disrupter in the world of Hip Hop that can resonate with an audience that has been yearning for a distinct sound and message. Success in Hip-Hop may typically be a young man’s game, but all recent signs point to it being a Grxwn Fxlks’ reality.