Keno Meechie: “Fame Before 18” – remixing the genre’s essential constituents
Keno Meechie is an artist out of Birmingham, who has been doing music for 6 years. Along with deleting endless numbers of practice EPs and singles, Keno has finally released his first official album, entitled “Fame Before 18”. Along with the release of this project Keno has suffered depression, and epic mood swings, etc. “If this one blow – I’ll really consider myself one of the luckiest 17 year olds alive”, says Keno. The music world is constantly evolving. Hip-Hop has gone from generic beats to songs where the base is louder than the lyrics.
Artists are constantly switching up their flows to experiment and keep the fans on their toes. In a time where music is becoming all about money and material things, Keno’s album is certainly a breath of fresh air. He has popped onto the music scene as a very versatile artist who mixes a street style with his emotional devotion.
I’ve long been aware that rap is the most adventurous genre of music in the game, so it was no surprise to hear the eclectic blends on “Fame Before 18” – but it is a fair surprise to hear that it sounds this good. For the sake of the project, Keno Meechie morphs his characteristic rap into various connotations, presenting fans with an album made up of diverse flows and rhyme schemes.
Twenty-five seconds into the opening track, “36 Villianz” and you can hear a young rapper teasing his creative range by launching himself to a genre extreme and then working backward, track after track, to his real wheelhouse, before finishing with another genre extreme – “Never Wake Again”.
“Fame Before 18” does make Keno sound like one of the more transcendent newcomer hip-hop artists around, as he moves through the varied flavors of “Ed Hardy, “Ms Indiana” and “Anti Niggas”. Of course, at seventeen, he’s not afraid to be different or to be classified as left-field. Hence, from the unusual beats to the multifarious flows, these tracks will grab your ears and twist them into submission.
Moreover, you just can’t help but make weird body movements when listening to Keno Meechie. The crowning achievement of this tape might actually be “Ms Indiana” with its crisp rhythmic inspiration and catchy vocals. It’s a pity it’s so short, being just under two minutes. Though to be honest “Anti Niggas” too, encapsulates many ear-worm elements.
Keno Meechie is a unique, if not unusual, talent. But uneasy times call for uneasy music. “Fame Before 18”, surpasses expectations, with incisive lyrics and beats that spurn current trends for a set that sounds unlike anything else in hip-hop right now. This is stuff you can either hate or love, depending on where you’re coming from, but you can hardly ignore it, if you’re looking for diversity in the genre.
Keno is not reinventing the wheel just yet – and at only seventeen he has plenty of time to do that – but he is definitely remixing the genre’s essential constituents. In a business where it’s common for an artist to cling and attempt to re-purpose classic material, Keno Meechie is running the gauntlet with his own ideas.