Young Mvchetes - "Young Mvchetes" Stream

Young Mvchetes is the first great mystery to emerge from the Kansas City area hip-hop scene in 2017. In the late hours of February 20th, an EP was uploaded to SoundCloud and Bandcamp and a series of cryptic tweets were sent out under the same moniker. Photographs of handwritten notes greeting several Kansas City, Topeka, and Lawrence area musicians, writers, and labels were sent out advising those invoked to "hit [them] up" or in other cases, just to convey their gratitude.

Upon further digging, an additional recording was released on the 19th. The title of the track -- "785-296-3232" -- is a line to the offices of Sam Brownback. That recording is five minutes of silence, occasionally interrupted by heavy breathing and a lone male voice revealing a series of odd personal tidbits and non-sequiturs.

The eight-song EP that this project revolves around is political in nature and rudimentary in sound. A majority of the EP is backed by simple kick-snare beats paired with either a distorted guitar or buzzing synth line. The lyrics are spewed out primarily by an emcee whose tone lands somewhere in-between a parrot and a character from the Muppets. Other voices often join in, but it's unclear whether or not it is the same rapper using a different voice or a guest.

A major theme in the EP's lyrical content is American complacency, whether it's in the light of the international refugee crisis or police brutality. On "wolves" a rapper drops lines like this: "This is really how it feels, though / When I’m watching you react to the video / Of the police putting bullets in the backs of men like Crutcher, Scott, Sterling, or Philando." The song "live." goes further to very clearly suggest that bystanders set down their phones and take action rather than recording the injustices that they witness.

The project is concluded by one of two interludes referred to as "intercepted conversations" between two voices. The first interlude (track six) consists of one man describing a gory nightmare where he had the opportunity to save his friend from monster-like creatures, but couldn't resist the urge to remain in safety behind his closed door as his friend's blood seeped under it. The second interlude (track eight, after "live.") is a more candid conversation that expands on the theme of the previous track "live." and the first interlude. The voice who was on the listening end of the dream comes to profess his view that "spreading awareness" in the midst of evil isn't enough and that direct action is far superior.

The final interlude cuts away from the conversation to end with a succinct speech instructing a group of followers to repeat a mantra of "I am awake" several times, through a rain of static, eventually building to a collective shout. And then silence.

Nobody seems to know who Young Mvchetes is yet or whether or not it's a team effort. Another anonymous artist credited to have worked on the project goes by the moniker Maadcxmmander and his only other collaboration has been with a Topeka EDM artist named Boba, a member of 808 Gnarly and Bass Hertz Productions.

Regardless of how direct Young Mvchetes' ties to those Topekans are, the new hip-hop project has already begun to slice through the noise in a way that's as puzzling as it is invigorating.

Stream and download the debut EP from Young Mvchetes below.

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