On Thursday, Elyria rapper Will Cherry released Ultraviolet — a matured, bold release following his 2020 debut. The record feels reminiscent of Ye’s seminal 808s & Heartbreak, emotion-fueled lyricism over dancefloor production with just a touch of gospel.
The album boasts a deeper sense of direction compared to earlier releases, according to Cherry.
“I'm very different as an artist,” he says. “With my last album, I started working on it in 2016 — it came out in 2020. But really, the bulk of the music was made in 2017 and 2018. What people hear when they listened to the last album and this album is basically an artist that has grown by four years.”
He goes on to warn young artists "Don't bank on that [early music] to be the thing that's going to be your calling card or what people will know you for — what will blow you up.”
While the rapper attacks production from an updated perspective, he values the Cleveland roots that brought him up, citing Chip Tha Ripper as his first concert, Kid Cudias a trend-setter and listening to 93.1 WZAK as a form of musical education.
Cherry recalls a musical genesis at 12 years old, inspired by Kanye West’s prolific discography and the “repackaging of the 80s” through various samples and synth-based production — both tools proving influential to Ultraviolet 13 years later.
The rapper shares a similar drive for perfection as well, recalling tracks that he reworked from the ground up in pursuit of something elusive.
“The reason why I did that was because even though the other version was good, I knew it could be better,” Cherry reflects. “I didn't know how to articulate why it could be better, but I just had to make something new. And I did.”
That new something, Ultraviolet, is out now across all major streaming platforms — boasting production credits from the likes of Sango, known for working with The Weeknd and Frank Ocean, alongside nine tracks produced by Cherry himself. soundcloud.com
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