The Glimmer EP
Production: Les Professionnels, Marquez, Geez Seven, Bizness Boi, 8 Bars, Big Rooth, Soopa
Although he hails from Philadelphia, Young Gliss doesn’t fall into the “gun-bolstering” genre of rap that his city is known for. He instead opts to employ an almost conscious approach to rise above the cluttering tough guy aesthetic flooding the Philly airwaves. It should be noted that Gliss has the proper pedigree for the task, being related to Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson of the legendary rap crew, The Roots. Such family ties prove beneficial to the young spitta, as quality seems to be a reoccurring theme when listening to The Glimmer EP. His ties to The Roots even earn him a feature from fan favorite Dice Raw, a longtime collaborator with the acclaimed group. But Gliss’ star is also recognized by other veterans such as Prodigy, Killer Mike, and other artists other artists on the come up like Jon Connor, STS, and Lo Keys on his latest offering.
The Glimmer EP starts off a bit rocky with “100 On The Dash,” which comes off as poorly mixed and out of place at the head of an introductory EP, but does give you an inclination of what to expect going forward musically in the form of well-rounded hooks in between clever quips and genuine rhymes. Next up is “Glimmer,” a track that would have made for a more suitable lead off song. The EP’s title track delivers a continuous dose of substance with an upbeat sound and flow to match. On “Charles Bradley” Gliss uses the sample to perfection; the voice of the 1970’s soul singer throughout the song provides a nice vibe while the emcee weaves rhymes effortlessly. “Awake” follows with singer Shane Chris on the hook. Unfortunately the smooth melody Chris lays down proves ironic when paired with Gliss’ drones as they leave you feeling unengaged and drowsy.
Luckily, “Everything” comes on just in time to recharge audiences with some much needed energy. Gliss doesn’t disappoint here, as “Everything” turns out to be a standout cut. “No One” is a feature heavy number which includes Prodigy of Mobb Deep, Jon Connor, Killer Mike, Just Shawn, and Lo Keys. The lengthy lineup doesn’t play poorly but its replay value isn’t as high as one would hope. Still, Killer Mike and Jon Connor contribute some solid guest verses.
The Glimmer EP’s brightest spots come in the form of “The Game,” “Le Cabinet,” and “My Addiction.” Curiously enough, these 3 songs are lined up one after the other, almost as if by design. Each are packed with rhymes, hooks, and beats you can vibe too, with the latter being at the top of the pack [and a personal favorite]. Lesser known artists Rone and Finesse also compliment the song with their guest appearances. Gliss’ 14-track EP concludes on the strong side with the smooth catchy tones and hypnotizing sound of “Midnight Sonata,” which resembles that of an MGMT track.
Experiencing the Glimmer EP is sort of perplexing. Upon first listen you may dwell on whether or not Gliss’ project contains the ingredients that will keep you coming back for more. Another full listen and you’re glad there’s a new artist who gets that the concept of making a well-rounded song is just as important as how “dope” you are lyrically; a department that Gliss seems to excel in. Overall, Gliss has a good showing with The Glimmer EP, but the ability to grab and keep your attention falls short of what it could and should be. On a number of his songs Gliss’ rhyming is overshadowed by the production (a fault far too common in today’s rap music), which is more or less a nod to the production provided by virtual unknowns like Les Professionnels, Geez Seven, Marquez, and Bizness Boi. In other words, his light shines dimmer than that of some of his invited guests. At present day, Gliss lacks the versatility to be on the same plateau as a J.Cole or Wiz Khalifa, but the potential for growth is evident and for an artist still coming into his own, that’s all you really need.
– Argenys Collado (@AKiDnamedHENNY)
Download: Young Gliss – The Glimmer EP
Best songs: “My Addiction,” “The Game,” “Le Cabinet,” “Street Signs,” “Glimmer,” and “Midnight Sonata.”