Killer basslines and fluttering guitar arpeggios surround $ean Wire’s “Pull Up,” showcasing just how far the Massachusetts rap scene has come.
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Listen: “Pull Up” – $ean Wire
Massachusetts is late to the rap party for a couple of different reasons. For one, the bay state doesn’t have a signature sound like New York, California, Chicago, Atlanta, and Florida. Instead, local artists take a slice from each region, thus hoping their lyricism and storytelling can be enough to carry their career to substantial heights. There’s Brockton’s Lord Felix, a rapper who utilizes classic Chicago dancehall with a dash of Atlantan trap. Or how about Boston native Brandie Blaze, the fiery spitter who poignantly combines Atlanta’s trap sensibilities with eclectic femininity? There’s also the incredibly gifted Oompa, a classic New York storyteller with J Cole-esque messaging. Massachusetts doesn’t necessarily lack in talent – just opportunity.
The much more serious reason for the scene’s historic stagnation is a lack of venues and ongoing racism. Boston is notorious for its rock n’ roll scene and racial stereotypes. For years, rap has failed to gain much traction within the city’s troubled walls. Only recently have we seen these cult fanbases develop from minimal radio and magazine exposure.
One artist who’s gained an immense amount of local respect over the past couple of years is Dorchester’s own $ean Wire. He just recently released his first project since 2017 titled Internal Dialect. The album’s second lead single “Pull Up“ finds Wire in his sweet spot: conjuring delicate R&B sounds in a catchy, almost mesmerizing manner. He does this sporadically throughout Internal Dialect even if most of the album carries an attitude of loneliness and despair. There’s something mystical about the entire experience, especially on “Pull Up,” one of the lighter cuts about love and bad karma (if that’s even possible).
Don’t even bother thinking bout it
Cuz Karma gon’ slide on you baby
That’s a word
I don’t want apologizes
His lyrics aren’t the most original in the world, but that doesn’t really matter in this context. What matters is the stunning spirituality that comes from a killer bassline and fluttering guitar arpeggios. Wire’s ability to switch between different cadences is wholly reminiscent of Smino and Saba’s vocal side-stepping on each of their recent releases. Wire hasn’t reached their level of musicality quite yet, but his constant experimentation does present an esoteric vibe that’s both unequivocally intriguing and infinitely magical.
Wire can be seen coldly rapping about his ex-lover’s intentions one minute and sincerely crooning about that same girl’s dreams the next. Rarely does he stick to one stream of consciousness, which, ultimately, makes for an endlessly alluring landscape. He has little concept and care for time, an attribute that I greatly appreciate especially amongst rap’s ever-changing aura.
What it is
What it ain’t
Talkin’ bout’ dreams but you get everything, handed to you with the main entrée
And silver spoon, too soon to debate?
There’s no doubt Wire will break away from his obvious influences (I hear some Chance and YBN Cordae as well). All the great artists eventually do. Heck, even Kendrick Lamar and Lil Uzi Vert rapped like their influences in the early part of the decade. He already has a steady control of his voice to go along with enough subtle anecdotes to keep his persona mysterious and interesting all at once. It’s only a matter of time before him and many of his Massachusetts contemporaries break out into the mainstream. And honestly, I don’t think Wire cares. Time doesn’t really matter when you’re talented.
Listen: “Pull Up” – $ean Wire
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