Atlanta rapper, producer, and designer, WHATUPRG‘s, name is synonymous with innovation and authenticity. His trademark combination of Latin rhythms, trap hip-hop, flawless lyricism, and captivating storytelling has enshrined him as an elite amongst his peers emerging from the Christian music scene. Still, his art is too eclectic for the limits of any sub-genre.
After releasing two singles “KIDS,” and “PRAISE!,” WHATUPRG invites listeners to experience the ever-evolving world of NEW HOLLYWOOD! His new album, NEW HOLLYWOOD, captures the quintessential nature of what listeners truly desire from the musical artform: an experience in which the trained artist channels his or her ability to respond to deep human emotion. Each track is a visceral experience. Every chord, bassline, lyric, and melody contributes a delicate stroke of paint to the album’s canvas of human experience. An aural and visual masterpiece that is just as specific as it is universal.
“New Hollywood is a place where you don’t have to act and you can just be yourself. Being yourself is enough!” shares RG. “I wanted to create music that could be a friend for people. I wanted to help them know when they hit rock bottom, even then, they’re not alone.”
Sonically, on New Hollywood, there are masterful records like the first single, “KIDS,” which carries the album’s thesis, chanting “We don’t pretend no more” and “kids don’t die we go up high”, over punching 808 drums and haunting synths. The star-studded song, “PRAISE,” marked his second song released from New Hollywood and features WHATUPRG alongside nine CHH artists: Foggieraw, Ty Brasel, Parris Chariz, NOT KLYDE, 1K Phew, Aha Gazelle, 350, Kaleb Mitchell, and a brand-new verse from NOBIGDYL. WHATUPRG released the original audio after a stroke of inspiration led him to rally collaborators to record the song. In just 24 hours, the song was recorded, mixed, mastered, and released on SoundCloud, just in time for the celebration of his 25th birthday earlier this year.
The albums stand-out record “HUMAN” takes the listener outside the conventional rap production style featuring WHATUPRG’s confessional riff over guitar chords. The lyrics, “You clear the storm in my mind, you bring me back to life,” and “If I show you the worst [of me] would you stay and rock and roll?” showcase his innovative wordplay. The record finishes with a back and forth featuring rapper Rhomar Jessie. The two float back and forth with lines like, “It feels like they killin’ innocence for the hell of it, separating kids from their parents ‘cause they immigrants” and “Coulda been the next Malcolm X, Dr. King but I’m tucked in my bed while I sleep on my dreams.” Each line describes their anguish watching the troubles of the world and feeling helpless to do more.
“NEED YOU” finds RG processing his desire to be holy but feeling far from it. He describes trying to process life and getting stuck in the dark. “Hella jaded, medicated, I’m surprised I’m still alive all the things I’ve taken.” and “I’m surprised I still believe in God, I gotta say it,” he raps. “On NEED YOU, I’m declaring to God that I need Him”.
On “MELATONIN,” electric guitars carry WHATUPRG’s haunting melodies as he chants “when I’m up all morning tossing and turning, I been up losing sleep, all this melatonin takes me up slowly take me up slowly, please.” Processing his internal struggles and the strife of the outside world has left him unable to sleep. This record is the soundtrack to those sleepless nights.
Drug abuse, deep feelings of loneliness, and the need to truly experience love, are all central themes to the album. New Hollywood is the Gospel according to WHATUPRG. Through powerful sonic delivery, listeners will experience a creative powerhouse transparently aligning with a generation questioning their responsibility to make the world a better place as well as the true peace all followers of Jesus hope to find through faith. To all who are weary and heavy burdened, welcome to NEW HOLLYWOOD.
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