Rating: 7.5 / 10
After a quick play of Young Gliss’ latest project, to say that he is a rookie would be “technically” accurate due to his sudden exposure, but misleading all the same. In any case, the newest 14-track outing from the Philadelphia MC has him showcasing his skills for a little less than an hour alongside several featured MCs, and although they may initially draw you in, it’s the skills from Gliss that hold your attention. The Glimmer EP may have a different reason behind its name, but the flashes of promise shown throughout the project is well-worth noting and watching for in the future.
One of the best things about The Glimmer EP is the choice in production. It’s not overpowering like most instrumentals that garner radio play, but instead sounds smooth and melodic, to the point where it’s easy to zone out to the music before you realize it’s over. The project plays more as a collection of songs as opposed to a flowing album, but that’s not a negative in this case; if anything this gives him a little wider of a platform to show what he’s capable of, and from him holding the microphone solo on “100 On The Dash” to splitting MC duties with others on posse cuts like “No One Can Stop Us Now” (which features Prodigy, Jon Connor, Killer Mike, Lo Keys & Just Shawn), he takes full advantage.
Gliss isn’t the type of MC to weaken his flow just to fit a punchline, and that dedication to the deeper content in his rhymes is also well-represented here. Songs like “Expect Delays” (feat. Chris Young the Rapper) and “Awake” show the introspective side of Gliss, but not in a cliché, uninventive way. Although at times the project does seem to hit a lull due to possibly a few too many uninspired features (I’m just not feeling Dosage’s guest verse on “Everything”, I’m sorry), Gliss does a great job of keeping the focus on himself regardless.
As alluded to earlier, the entire project is a reflection of Young Gliss as he showcases his lyrical ability, and he seems hell bent on gaining recognition his way. Choosing to have an EP that’s longer than nine songs is unconventional, and choosing to not rely on his All-Star family connection is even more honorable in a Hip-Hop environment where rappers name-drop to get ahead. He could’ve easily spring-boarded off the popularity of his cousin and legendary Roots drummer ?uestlove to gain looks, or name-dropped Philadelphia MC and Roots affiliate Dice Raw to grab Hip-Hop heads’ attention, but he instead chose to forego that and make people interested in him through his music. It’s slightly ironic that with all of that said, The Glimmer EP could’ve been better if it wasn’t for some of the features weighing it down as a whole.
Even with its slight flaws, Young Gliss still proves that he’s one to watch for in the upcoming months, and with his emergence, it’s hard to deny the fact that Philadelphia may be one of the biggest places to find talent right now. Download the EP here, and listen for yourself.
Also, check out our interview with him at SXSW from earlier this week below: