Bassist-Turned-Pilot, Paige II is an AOTY Creator
Get ahead of Spotify’s algorithm with Hummingbird’s Music Feeder, a dose of invigorating and soul-pleasing tunes
I have a new style this week! This Feeder is focused on Patrick Paige II, a 2021 album of the year contender and member of world-touring neo-soul band The Internet. But stick with me through the end - new releases from Muzi, Beez, and Zack Fox aren’t worth missing.
Hear from Hummingbird’s Nest: Patrick Paige II Speaks on Confidence
Patrick Paige II took his career to the air once again with his second solo album, If I Fail Are We Still Cool?
A rhetorical question for many of his fans, the album sees Paige take broad jumps in a series of directions on the road to building an album that’s boundless in genre & style and vulnerable & relatable in lyrics.
“I'm so proud of this one because for me it was such a big step outside of myself,” Paige said. [I’m] unlocking different characters. It was a lot of discovery for me.”
If I Fail Are We Still Cool? carries a ridiculous question for fans of Paige and his band, The Internet. He’s proven himself as one of the world’s best bassists over the years, and while he hasn’t been a main vocalist for the band in the past, he’s showed his skills on the mic through a couple of interludes on top of his 2017 debut solo album, Letters of Irrelevance.
He was always going to be cool, but naming the album after such an insecure ponderance shows the risk of dropping an album that expands past what listeners are used to.
Skits and interludes throughout the album make the album a flight, departing from Paige just as a talented team member, flying to a location where he’s celebrated as a creative leader and thinker. Taking his listeners up to 40,000 feet, Paige shows folks the macro view of his path to success and the personal philosophy that is sure to keep him relevant for years to come.
The first full song on the album, “New Habits,” featuring Paco TP showed Paige in a similar tempo and key to his last solo album but with a noticeable change in confidence. On Letters of Irrelevance, he spent much of the album describing his personal struggles with depression and substances, making the album a dark experience.
“New Habits” feels like an introduction to the new Patrick, one that’s confident in his skills and giddy about the limelight he’s receiving; “Get the picture with no flash, you still gon' see a n*gga shining / Jesus gonna take the wheel, we gonna pull up with perfect timing / I'm a motherfucking diamond dawg, a n*gga had it rough / So I ain't lying when I say a n*gga built Ford tough.”
The next track, “Big Plays,” turns up the tempo as a workout anthem with relatable bars and powerful production.
While the album’s production is tight across the board, Paige’s pen shines brighter, allowing him to speak directly to his listeners throughout the album.
“I really like to write from my personal experiences,” Paige said. I like to make sure people can feel something. Like if it's a good day, if I feel like talking shit, like ‘yo I look fly today,’ I know people can relate to that. If I'm in my feelings or deep thought about something, I know people get in their feelings and deep thoughts about a lot of things.”
While the album saw a series of different versions of Paige than anyone had ever seen before, he says he never had to think twice about it.
“There wasn't really anything to second guess or think about because I was only telling my truth, you know what I mean?” he said. “It was a little nerve wracking for sure, but it's never anything that's ever stopped me. The fear has never stopped me from moving forward.”
Check out the rest of the interview on our website!
Tune In: Best Drops of the Past Few Weeks
Muzi ~ Interblaktic
Blending Afrobeats, house, dancehall, and hip-hop, Muzi’s fourth album is expansive and full of beats that will knock your head off. I found Muzi through a KAYTRANADA co-sign, as the Montreal legend produced the ninth song, “I Know It.” Grounded in Afrofuturism, the album is aesthetically ear-grabbing at every moment.
Beez ~ N.O.M.
With his latest single, Beez further expands his repertoire in terms of what kind of beats he can float over. This one is boom-bap with sprinkling embellishments and background vocals. It’s an entrancing listen, as he hooks you in with his baritone voice and signature punchlines before elevating the track with his a capella-quality singing voice.
Lute ~ Gold Mouf
J. Cole fans that fell in love with him when he was putting out good raps rather than just relying on his star power will love this album. One of Dreamville’s lesser-celebrated artists by the commercial public, Lute shows he’s ready for the limelight with a series of tracks that blend hip-hop and R&B, doing so with flair and finesse.
Zack Fox ~ fafo
I’m not fucking with you at all when I say Fox is one of my favorite rappers lately and will likely find himself on a series of AOTY lists when he (presumably) drops an album at some point. Fox isn’t the most technically gifted rapper, but his background in comedy, generally strong flows, and booming production make him one of the most entertaining voices in contemporary hip-hop.