Pre-Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City probably conjured up images of boredom for most people. While this may not be true at all, a direct product of my own experiences with terribly long roadtrips, the Oklahoma City Hip Hop scene is barely visible. 832 is working to change all that. Brothers Nawledge 405 and Solomis form the duo and are already making major headway in the underground scene. Their name comes from the address of the Oklahoma City home they grew up in that was unfortunately burned down.
Most artists that attempt to gain attention do so by copying whatever the flavor of the month is. 832 pride themselves on a wholly original approach to Hip Hop, blending spoken word and variegated rhyme schemes. At once, they are like a mixture of Flatbush Zombies, Tech N9ne, and the more experimental version of Outkast. Most rappers pay their bills with flashy talk of materialism and decadence, but 832 take a refreshing, realistic approach to craft, each with their own unique and experimental flows. In 2013, the duo won the 6th Annual Street Music Award for Best Duo or Group. Capitalizing on their increasing hype, the duo have recently released a full-length album, The RAP-ture, showcasing all of their myriad styles.
The RAP-ture opens with two lyrical tracks (“The Prayer” and “Under The Ground”) that perfectly encapsulate who the duo is. 832 specialize on deafening bars complete with vocal mutations. The formula works the best when the duo is operating on high-wattage beats that compliment their onslaught, such as the single “Burn.” When 832 turn up, they are like an OKC version of M.O.P., as evidenced on the romping “Ragtime.” The lyrics are marked by a special adherence to paradigm shifting, as if 832 are trying to reverse decades of stale Hip Hop-isms with their real talk. On “Pyscho Woman,” the normal ode to strippers is benched for a interesting look at the realistic interplay between men and women. While the music isn’t for everyone, it is refreshing to know that some artists are still intent on breaking away from the common mold not only in the music but the lyrics themselves.
You can stream The RAP-ture below, and if you are feeling 832, make sure to track their movements on the interwebs.