Music has changed a lot over the years. When I was growing up, you either listened to this or that. The same can no longer be said for the youth of today. Today’s artists face an audience whose musical taste not only passes through the lines that divide genres but actually goes as far as to blur those lines. Kevon Pagis’ latest, Delirium, is an exploration of the current soundscape; infusing Southern Hip Hop/R&B, murky 90’s rock, and influences of today’s Pop and EDM hits.
Pagis creates a sonic pot of gumbo that has a little bit of everything for every audience his music may encounter. This is a powerful approach and strategy that requires a good amount of finesse and diplomacy. We’ve seen this very approach take artists like Kanye West and Drake from rookie status to nothing short of legendary. That being said, this is not an easy feat to accomplish and seldom works out for everyone that attempts it. Pagis does a great job walking such thin lines, but at times I feel the Pop and EDM influences are on occasion more oppressive for him than they are liberating.
Pagis is an independent artist that has clearly dominated the southern rap style and proves to be proficient. On tracks like ‘Be Cool’ and ‘Type Of Shit’, we get top notch lyrics and wordplay from the South over genre bending production that make for very successful and catchy songs. ‘User’ is a favorite of mine, Kevon Pagis grew up listening to Nirvana and that is apparent here I feel. Pagis references love and drugs and the song’s production is erie and translucent, similar to that of some of Nirvana’s later work. Next after ‘User’ on the album comes, ‘Sweetest Sin’, which carries on the ominous tone and again we receive an excellent display of lyrics, wordplay and style that is all its own.
Kevon sounds like he is somewhere amidst a directional pivot in terms of identity. On songs like ‘Maria’, produced by Joey Trife, Pagis does an excellent job making the track his own but I found it a little out of place on this project. I can’t say the entire project is really in my taste personally, but I see where Kevon is going and aspires to be. He is a visionary with a lot of potential and ideas. I look forward to following him as he navigates this new atmosphere he travels through.