YUNGMORPHEUS is an up-and-coming voice in abstract hip-hop, born in Florida and currently residing in Los Angeles. Having released music consistently since 2015, and having collaborated with some of underground hip-hop’s bigger names (such as Pink Siifu, Fly Anakin and AKAI SOLO), YUNGMORPHEUS has been proving himself as a name to keep track of.
His newest album, From Whence It Came, should be the album that pushes that name into underground hip-hop stardom. This is a fantastic record—a unique, gorgeous and bold album that mixes poetic gangsta rap with chipmunk vocal samples and guitar and drum beats.
Ambition starts at the open. The first track, “Where It Goes,” opens with striking vocal samples over a smooth guitar beat. YUNGMORPHEUS’ flow speaks for itself. With a cool, relaxed tone, he raps about being lost within the rap game and trying to find his position within the rap game—one away from lies and greed. His lyricism has a rawness and artfulness that makes this potentially stale topic feel refreshing. Lines like, “N***as ate pie in front of my face while I was f**kin’ starvin’/He wound up in a couple tight spaces ‘cause he wasn’t cautious” are suave, slick ways to approach typical hip-hop ideas. These are found all over the record.
The stand-out element of From Whence It Came is certainly its production, though. There are no bad beats on this album. They’re all able to sound unique but maintain a sense of cohesion thanks to YUNGMORPHEUS’ delivery across them. Some of the album’s most memorable beats are on “Self Sponsored,” which has great cowbells and a brilliant jazzy saxophone sample, and “Cassava Bread,” a beat comprised of vocal soul samples, lightly muffled bass and a gentle piano loop. The drums on the latter are barely noticeable, with only a cymbal making its presence known in short silences from time to time.
The curation of features here is also great. YUNGMORPHEUS is cautious and sparing with feature choices. Fly Anakin’s verse on “Cassava Bread” steals the show, with his more energetic and nasally vocal approach creating a sweet contrast with YUNGMORPHEUS’ voice. The vocals of singer Jimetta Rose on “Where It Goes” are fantastic, as is MED’s feature on “What You Won’t Do.”
From Whence It Came is a seriously impressive and refreshing abstract hip-hop album. It should be considered as one of the best hip-hop releases of 2023 so far, with its fantastic, varied production and YUNGMORPHEUS’ slick flow. It is stylish, emotive and meaningful, with a distinctive sound and a sense of ambition that makes it truly memorable.add