Myze, “Invite Only” (Photo: Contributed)

Myze has been subverting hip-hop expectations for years now, reveling in a particular deconstruction and adaptation of his various influences while pushing the genre past its comfort zone. With roots in both Chattanooga and Murfreesboro, he’s been using his Tennessee connections to upend the conventions of his chosen aesthetic. By integrating live instrumentation with prerecorded beats, and by discovering just how flexible hip-hop can be, Myze has found the expanse of rap music to be both inclusive and wildly malleable.

He’s not running through the same old sounds and rhythms, either—he has a remarkable understanding of what makes hip-hop so universal and welcoming. And in this awareness of the tenets of this musical history, he is able to bend and twist the rules to suit his own needs and desires. By taking the inspirations afforded him through a considerable knowledge of rap music’s complicated past, he fashions a labyrinthine homage to his own musical origins while also peering into the genre’s unpredictable future.

On recent single, “Invite Only,” he builds a compelling noise from bits of clacking percussion, swirling electronic atmospherics and a fierce vocal turn that shifts from foreboding feeling to clear-minded imagery with no effort. Lyrically, he opines about love and reveals that he only allows those people close to him who have proven their loyalty and affection. The music enforces this wrought-iron defense, allowing each stark beat and stripped-down rhythm the opportunity to dig deeper into this morass of intimate experience and cautious emotionality.

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“Invite Only” is a song that is personal to some events that took place in my life,” Myze says. “I want the listener to hear the song and feel as if they are me every time it’s heard. Moving forward, it’s always imperative that it is known I handle all production and engineering on my works. Knowing everything that touches an ear from me is personal because I am exhausting all of my positive energy on my own.”

Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on FacebookTwitter or by emailThe opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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