Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
If I had a dollar for every teenage hip hop act I’ve received here for the Independent Spotlight, well, I could probably stop writing the Independent Spotlight. (Or anything else, for that matter.) I get inundated on a near-daily basis by young artists striving to be the next Kanye, the next Eminem, or the next ‘Real O.G.’ More often than not, I let them down easy, and critique their blatant narcissism and shoddy work. Young A.G, a sixteen year-old hip hop songwriter from Northern Virginia, however, doesn’t elicit that response. He’s actually quite good and shows a lot of promise. Let’s take a look at his new tune, ‘Sight To See.’
Right out of the gate: the best part of ‘Sight To See’ is that Young A.G isn’t egotistical. That’s vitally important in regard to his authenticity; if he was going on about how he’s the next “real O.G” over a Garageband preset, I wouldn’t give him the time of day. He’s optimistic and driven, but his lyrics don’t come across as self-indulging. Instead, he acknowledges his youth, looks toward the future, and recognizes the industry’s pull to change him into something he doesn’t want to be. ‘Sight To See’ rebels against that; it’s actually a statement of freedom and A.G even muses about how he’s not a gangster, he’s an emcee.
Everything Young A.G produces is entirely ‘do it yourself.’ He’s not recording in a professional studio, nor is anyone else involved in the production. I found this particularly impressive because A.G’s production is actually quite sharp. It’s catchy, well produced, and the beats, while simplistic, are wholly original. I even love his monotone meanderings in the choruses - there is something so genuine about his persona. I dig that.
Young A.G is the kind of artist that every single teenage hip hop artist that comes across my desk should strive to be like. He’s ambitious, but not narcissistic. Talented, but not ostentatious or overzealous. Even his music video is very well shot for his age, though it does play like an early 90s MTV video, cheesy transitions, plaid shirts and all. That’s okay, though. This is a remarkably good tune for a sixteen year old. I get artists thrice his age who aren’t as developed.