South Florida rapper and Nu Age Crew member Kent Loon returns with his new track and music video for “RAX,” his first single from his upcoming album Bittersweet set to release later this year via POW Recordings. Kent tapped frequent collaborator Chester Watson to helm the beat, and it’s a standout that shows their ever-apparent chemistry through an hypnotic loop and bass that begs you to get in your car, turning up its speakers at your earliest convenience.
Together, Kent and Chester have been crafting forward-thinking hip-hop that balances trap sensibilities with lyricism that gradually lures you into Loon’s unique backstory. That history includes bouncing around Florida after fleeing Bogota due to the threat of a potential kidnapping by local guerilla fighters. After the two connected in high school, they’ve been refining a sound that is solely their own for the better part of the past half-decade. Bittersweet will be the follow-up to Kent’s 2017 full-length Stay Low and follows a steady flow of singles throughout last year.
2019’s “Clark Kent” single operated on the premise of “stay focused and hold it down no matter what situation… I never considered myself a superhero, but am also aware that being myself hasn’t always been accepted by society.” “Rome” delivered a warped beat worthy of an acid trip where Loon’s stream-of-consciousness flow maneuvered through dreams, goals and dancing with the devil. He rounded out last year with “Mood Change”. “I want kids to understand that it’s okay to follow their dreams and to not be afraid to be their true self… It’s important to understand your gift and to expose it to the world,” he told HYPEBEAST.
Ahead of the music video’s premiere, Kent joined us for a quick interview to talk about how he’s holding up during the coronavirus quarantine, his chemistry with Chester Watson and what’s to come for the remainder of his 2020. Watch the visual above and stream the single below.
HYPEBEAST: So first off, how are you holding up during the current coronavirus quarantines? What’s your day-day routine looking like?
Kent Loon: My self-routine was already pretty structured. Quarantine made me realize I’m already a homebody. Very rarely do I go out, if ever. Aside from being a little concerned for my health and also my loved ones, my day-to-day routine hasn’t changed much.
You and Chester Watson have been close since you connected in high school. At this point in the game, how do you guys continue to grow and push each other creatively?
Chester and I are still so young that I tend to forget that I’ve known him for almost 10 years. It’s inspiring to have a friend with the same drive and ambition. Naturally we feed off of each other’s energy, even if we don’t live in the same city. Nonetheless when we stayed with each other, no day was the same as the last. We keep it blunt with each other no matter what and correlate our ideas until they would mash up perfectly. That’s my brother for real.
Flows have become pretty one-dimensional in hip-hop these days. You often have artists defined by one signature cadence, but you’ve shown throughout your career your ability to shift and ride a beat in so many different ways. We heard that last year with “Rome,” “Mood Change” and “Clark Kent.” How are you developing these different deliveries?
First off, thank you for the compliment. It means a lot to me when anyone notices my progress. Growing up with just my mom around, she only listened to Spanish music. Ever since we came to the U.S. from Colombia in 2000, I’ve been developing, what you could say is my personality or my perspectives; balancing both my Colombian heritage and the way my world was growing up in the States.
What’s the story on the creation of your latest single “RAX” — first how’d the track come together, and then what’s the story behind the new visual?
The story behind “RAX” is interesting to say the least. It came about intentionally, but the intention was stumbled upon. Chester and the homie Vash Noir drove down from Atlanta because Chester had to film some promo for a menswear brand called I Love Ugly. Randomly, Chester starts making the beat as soon as Vash left the room. By the time he came back downstairs, the beat was done and I was already rapping the hook. He had this “I was gone for ten minutes, what the hell happened?” expression on his face that definitely made the moment feel special.
Once I realized the song needed a video, I instantly thought about Moji Wilson, the video director behind “RAX.” His cinematic style matched perfectly with the vibrations the track portrays. Shouts out to Moji.
You were also hanging with Larry June in a recent Instagram post. Can we expect a feature from Uncle Larry on the next full-length? (And any other collaborations in particular that you’re willing to divulge at this time).
Larry June and I have been in contact for quite some time. I found his music on Soundcloud kinda early on, probably 2013 or 2014. I reached out and somehow we got in contact. We’ve stayed connected over the years so when we see each other it’s nothing but love. We also have mutual homie DVME, one of my favorite producers to work with besides Watson. He hit me up when they were in town for a show so I tapped in. I don’t want to give too much away before the tape drops, but I can humbly mention that it would be worth checking out when it’s released.
What else can HYPEBEAST expect from your next project? What are you most excited about with this upcoming LP?
My next project Bittersweet will be my best music I released so far. I have taken plenty of time to study and analyze each track that I decide to use. Each track has a meaning of its own, yet they match accordingly to be placed on the same tape. I’m excited for people to hear my music. I hope it inspires the youth especially to be a better, productive human. Music has the power to spread love and positivity to anyone who listens. That’s basically what I’m trying to do here.