In a generation where hip-hop and rap often face a mass amount of scrutiny by musicians and consumers alike, pursuing a career in the field proves challenging. Today’s stigma around rap music is a direct result of a self fulfilling prophecy that tells society, “everyone is a rapper,” thus creating a debilitating community around the genre and those who strive to succeed within it.
Although Austin’s local music scene is swiftly flourishing, artists involved with hip-hop and rap are restricted to an “under-the-radar” scene. The 512’s own Plato III is taking these degrading affairs into his own hands by proving to Austin’s hip hop community that musical success is not measured by genre.
On May 10 Plato III released his first full length album, Life Before Death that was discovered streaming on Spotify‘s front page playlist “Fresh Finds” only days later–a monumental success for any artist starting at a local level.
Life Before Death yields contributions from underground producers nation-wide, including CAPYAC’s Delwin Campbell, AKA Potion. The album is centered around impressive production, simply auto-tuned vocals, themes of social awareness while simultaneously maintaining a party energy. The reverb of the album is dreamy, but it’s general outline is hype–an impressive combination of sentiment and electricity, comparable to Kanye‘s The Life Of Pablo.
Life Before Death was actually mastered and completed outside of Austin city limits. Plato III took to the West Coast to find new inspiration to cultivate his personal masterpiece. While living in the Los Angeles area he humbly reached out to On Vinyl to familiarize himself with our mission to create hyper-local communities nation wide. OV considers Plato III a friend and partner as we continue to feed the stables of starving, underground artists.
Only two months later, Plato III released a single that poses as a testament to the emotional power success can bring. The single, “I Miss My Friends” is lyrically straight forward in regards to the message it presents. The track starts off with a dreamy reverb that is polished off with a vinyl expulsion–fire place music if you will. The beat provides a naturally nostalgic vibe that smoothly transitions into poetic rhetoric. Plato III goes on to explain leaving his city (Austin) to find something “pretty,” for his people is not what he once expected. He mentions through out the track that he is consistently “chasing ends,” in Los Angeles, something every creative visionary battles internally and externally daily. Creative minds are often the most disrupted, we have this idea of chasing this so called “end” that does’t actually exist and rather, reduces us to a crippling insecurity- pressure. The mantra of this single “I Miss My Friends” is one of raw emotion and unashamed fear. The company you keep has the power to heighten your creative intelligence and serve as reassurance that your work is worth pursuing.
Plato III has effectively articulated work and pain in his most recent single “I Miss My Friends.” The short turnover from album to single is impressive, and solid proof of the emotional leverage dream chasing yields. The single was not a cry for help, or a call for attention, it was an eloquent example for trials and tribulations experienced as an on-the-verge artist.
(Photo Courtesy of Plato III)