Central Texas is so slept on when it comes to rap. It’s weird to even think about, considering the large amount of cultural diversity that exists between two major cities, San Antonio and Austin. Like, almost the entire artistic industry descends into Austin, the live music capital of the world, every spring for South By South West, ACL is one of the biggest festivals in the country, San Antonio just got it’s first major rap festival with Malaluna Fest, and yet the scene for what’s currently the most influential genre in the country is extremely overlooked. With the release of his latest project, Swim Camp, rapper Shelly Knicks has made it clear that since y’all sleep, it’s time for a wake up call.
I first heard of Knicks after a showcase in my area headed by Ben Waid, one the producers on SC. As I fell deeper into his catalog, his talent for music, photography, and videography became more and more apparent, and his writing skills and powerfully nonchalant style are even more evident in this latest work. Swim Camp was a fitting title, considering how easily Knicks backstrokes over this production, and the listener floats endlessly over a smooth ride of enjoyable tracks. A strong standout for me is Rabbit Holes, a track so full of endless vibes that it’s super reminiscent of TDEs Isaiah Rashad in style, Knicks laid back delivery coupled seamlessly with strong lyrics. The endings vocal echoing is a very nice touch as well. The production on the project fits the overall theme of the project really well, portraying a dark and cold, but not too aggressive sound that all works together as a unit even though there’s multiple producers bringing their own style. All in all, these a very cohesive and thought out body of work. A soundtrack to those chill summer nights, Swim Camp is a big step in Central Texas making waves in hip hop culture, and is definitely worth a look. Listen to the project and peep the video for Rabbit Holes below, and be sure to follow him on twitter.