Half Deaf grew up, in a family of 4, in San Antonio, TX. His dad was in the military, then became a speech teacher, while he has a little brother currently enlisted. Half Deaf’s mother was more artistic and worked odd jobs, while she taught him to paint and draw. In High School, he drew on his shoes, painted, and made mixtapes. He went deaf in his left ear when he was 19, and a few years later, after graduating from Texas State with a degree in English – Creative Writing Focus, he decided to get in touch with my artistic roots again. Half Deaf currently has a new album out, entitled “The Story”. Half Deaf is in full album mode, serving 12 tracks of alternating swagger, sex, social observation and emotional introspection. These tracks prove that the artist’s pen game is as sharp as ever. An increasingly confident and accomplished emcee, Half Deaf delivers bars and bars of relentless flow. The result is an album of ceaseless, unyielding rhymes.
Right from track one, “Table of Contents”, Half Deaf prowls through the beats carrying varying expressions and creating compulsive listening. He shows his lyrical versatility all over the place. If you are a fan, then you know he can switch his flow up effortlessly, the flow on several tracks on this project highlight his ability to incorporate his sound with something that any generation can relate to.
Listen to his tongue-in-cheek, over the top delivery, on “Brown Raybans”, and then ease into the smooth melodic sing-song vibe on “English Major”. While, there is humor and serious themes being treated in this album, the sheer glorious musicality of it all, is exhilarating. Like the smooth funky groove on “Otw 2c Drake”, which is just waiting to bump in your stereo.
On this album, the beats put a wiggle in your behind, and a nod in your head. The verses start in the ear and then spread to your throat and mouth, until you’re miming along. Through skill and ingenuity, Half Deaf makes his voice sound like a musical instrument, and these traits come up quickly on “English Major” and “Wanda’s Song”. Half Deaf is full of ideas, many thought-provoking, and some crazy as hell.
And sure, he’s not subtle when he wants to make a point – checkout “Server Life” and “Bars x Haikus” for how directly Half Deaf can deliver his messages. Half Deaf’s tracks succeed because they approach subjects with actual storytelling, rather than a collection of bullet points.
More often than not, he takes his narratives, douses them in gasoline and sets them alight, resulting in fiery lyrical explosions like “Man of the Town” ft. The Mayor and “Muse & My Lighter”. Summing up production and lyrical flow, these are probably the two most impressive back to back tracks found in this collection.
But there are plenty of other gems to be found here. The jazzy and soulful slow burn of “Thoughts After Rolling” ft. Sydney Wright, is simply mesmerizing, both in arrangement and execution. The sampled sounds on “To Be Continued” plays as the perfect juxtaposition to Half Deaf’s conversational rhymes as he analyses his story thus far.
Regardless of how idealistic his manner may seem, Half Deaf is using his craft to push his star to greater heights, and “The Story” is a purposeful exercise in nudging his brand further out into the ever-changing world of urban music. You need to add this to your playlist.
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