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Rory Fresco - "Teen Spirit" Stream

Rory Fresco opening for Rich The Kid earlier this year
Rory Fresco's second mixtape is a tribute to hard work and a glowing recreation of his Hollywood hijinks. After signing to Epic Records in 2016, Rory released his debut tape, "Mad World," but the release was removed from the internet for a short time after its release due to an issue with the label. Rory considered the possibility of dropping some of that music again in a wider, label-sanctioned release, but ultimately chose to push forward and work on something new. That something new is "Teen Spirit."

The money and connections that come along with a major label deal enabled Rory to do some traveling in the last year. Several of those trips have been to Los Angeles where Rory worked on his music and, evidently, did his fair share of partying. "Wicked Sunrise" and "Lottery" were made to soundtrack late night escapades full of flashing lights and extracurriculars. The twinkling synths and club-thumping drums on these songs drown out any thoughts that could inhibit a wild night out on the town.

"25 Freaks/Back Around" is arguably the mixtape's centerpiece. It begins as a song about the many women competing for Rory's attention. A dark piano line echoes through the song's chorus as Rory explains where he stands amid these love interests. Three-and-a-half minutes later, however, the song morphs into a slow-burning R&B jam about how things play out when he returns home to Kansas City -- when he comes "back around." This song, perhaps more than any others on the mixtape, demonstrates Rory's very modern approach to vocals. He may not have the chops to make a career strictly as a pop singer, but his savvy decisions on when to switch from autotuned singing to monotonous shouting are made clear here. He often tweets about how the voice is an instrument and this is him backing those statements up.

Another thing that makes "25 Freaks/Back Around" important is its structure. It was produced by Thxonlyxne, but it seems clear that Rory had some input to how the song was laid out. The track doesn't grow stale at all over the course of its seven minute runtime. The ability to aid in crafting a song like this so early in a musician's career shows that Rory may have some true staying power. It could have been easy to write him off as a one-hit wonder after "Lowkey," but it seems like it's only a matter of time before his next.

Rory prides himself on his versatility -- he produced several songs on this tape -- but a handful of collaborators on "Teen Spirit" play important parts on their tracks. A$AP affiliate Treez Lowkey hammers out an enjoyable verse in his autotuned falsetto on "Love Like Rock N Roll." Fellow Kansas Citian Dettsa nearly steals the show on "Fake Like That" where Rory also delivers some of his toughest rhymes of the project. "Come Alive" features the debut of Voyager 1 -- the new duo of Danzell Capers and Quinn Pudenz from Brother.

In the final months of his teenage years, Rory Fresco has released a mixtape that dwarfs the biggest projects of many area musicians older than him and gives firm footing to his goal of landing on the Billboard charts. Rory takes another moment to reflect on his journey so far on "Everything 2 Me" and acknowledges that there's still work to be done, but if he keeps pushing as hard as he is on this tape, it shouldn't be long before he reaches stardom.

Stream "Teen Spirit" below.

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