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Review: Leo – ‘Midnight’

by admin August 26, 2020

Review: Leo – ‘Midnight’

A rapper and entrepreneur from Austin, Texas, Leo first started making music at the young age of nine, taking lead from the talents of J. Soulja. An inspirational moment for the young talent, Leo took up the mantle after hearing Soulja’s style, writing his own raps and building his own unique style. As he grew older, Leo’s added the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Biggie Smalls, Tupac, Eminem, and J. Cole to his list of musical heroes, revelling in the authentic hip-hop sounds that have made them into legends.

After countless years of refining and evolving his sound, Leo has put himself in the spotlight, charging himself with a poignant mission to bring real hip-hop back to the masses. Looking to spark a revolution with his sound, Leo has also gone on to found R.S.V.P. (Raw Style & Versatile Production)., his own independent record label. Currently, the CEO and co-founder, the label is built on the hard work of Leo and his producer, Unfamous, two unique talents with an undying passion for their art.

One of the most notable releases to surface from both Leo and R.S.V.P. is ‘Midnight’, a six-track EP that goes inside the mind of “one the next best rappers”, exploring his fears, regrets, and hopes. Opening with the title track, ‘Midnight’ cuts a sharp and immediate tone, growing from a light cascade of synth tones to an unyielding aural assault of hard-hitting vocals, digital flourishes, and dark melodies. A brisk and unrelenting track, ‘Midnight’ sets the perfect tone for the release, announcing Leo with a confidence and almost aggressive style that few can stand against.

Second cut ‘Get Yo Money’ takes a lighter, more airy tact, offering a narrative-driven and RnB inspired song that is built around a simple chorus and repeated refrain, bringing a soft, but seductive sound to the mix. Offering glimpses into yesteryear, third track ‘Nightime’ brings a distinct contrast between soulful backing and Leo’s heavy vocal, tying the two together with rolling bass tones and a joyfully erratic flow.

Building a deft, nostalgic tone, ‘Summer Nights’ brings to light memories of better days, before ‘Insomnia’ brings the tone back to a dire reality, pushing another stark and involving narrative across some truly impressive instrumentals. At the end of it all, we’re left to pick up the pieces with ‘Alive at 2am’, arguably the most accomplished and impressive track on the album. A triumphant layering of calling harmonies, authentic vocals, and undeniable lyrics, it kicks hard and carries on kicking, creating an evolving soundscape that you’ll want to stick with.

A hidden treasure held by Soundcloud, ‘Midnight’ is an impressive and wonderfully built release from Leo. Brimming with calculated beats, educated, self-reflective lyrics and layered beats that constantly impress, there is magic within the six tracks that will make Leo a talent to remember.

You can stream ‘Midnight’ now in full above, or directly on Soundcloud below.

Score: 8.5/10

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