Philly rapper Asaad returns with the Young 27 EP - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Asaad | via bandcamp

Whether he’s going by his occasional alias of $audi Money or the more common handle Asaad, this is one Philly rapper we’ve really enjoyed following over the past few years – in no short part because he’s so unpredictable. Dating back to a 2011 collab with DRGN King, Asaad has dazzled us with mixtapes from #DIRTYMIDDLECLASS to #CODEBLUE (he likes naming his releases with all-caps and hashtags), and he made my year-end roundup of Philly music discoveries in 2012. At the time, I praised him for “mixing thoughtful, quasi-philosophical verses with raw, nasty, provocative ones” and employing beats that run a similar gamut, from wind-up crunk to booming trap to spectral cinematic soundscapes.

After a year and a half of (mostly) silence, Asaad is back this week with his latest project, Young 27, which you can stream for free and download at Bandcamp (hat-tip, Okayplayer). It features “Blue Note Entendre,” which was teased about a year ago, and it has the same variety of sounds and beats and sonic approaches. It’s engrossing on that strictly surface level, but dig a little deeper and you’ll hear Asaad’s lyrical perspective shifting now that he’s on the tail end of his 20s. It’s, dare I say, more optimistic, with the EP closing on the couplet: “I wake up every morning excited to write / my name is everything, I invest in my life.”

Listen to Young 27 below, and dig into Asaad’s discography here.

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