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Rapper $ean Wire is stepping out of his comfort zone on 'Reflections'

$ean Wire (Courtesy Oneenour)
$ean Wire (Courtesy Oneenour)

Boston’s $ean Wire is a strong presence within the city’s hip-hop scene, and he’s an artist that completely moves at his own pace when delivering and crafting music. After listening to his newest effort, “Reflections,” it made me wonder why certain artists can successfully operate in this way, while other artists may feel the need to keep up with the times to connect with their audience.

$ean Wire will go months and sometimes years between releases. This is due, in large part, to a constant search for self-mastery. He is one of those disciplined people that doesn’t feel he is disciplined. “Got to save all of my bread and quit going to functions/ I swear that was never the goal,” he raps on “Mercy,” the intro song on “Reflections.” Wire brings an authenticity and a forever growing world perspective to his music. This is (in part) why I believe he is able to release music on his own time and still hold onto a strong fan base.

Another draw is Wire’s ability to craft a story and grab people’s attention. A great example of this is on the track “L.O.A.” “I know there’s more for me. I know/ And plus I think I grew up accustomed to insanity as well/ It got me thinking this is heaven mixed with hell/ Ring the town hall bell/ I spent three years eating every L/ I got a better plan to save me from myself,” Wire raps. Other songs that prove his storytelling mastery are “Run for Cover” and “Foolish to Think.”

Wire’s different flows move between a fast pace and slow but he always molds the pace super well to the beat production. He engineered about 85% of this project, so his ability to mesh raps to beats touches another level. His delivery, specifically on “Pharoah’s Chant,” is on point. The song can casually play in the background while you work all day. The structure of the song actually reminds me of a workday: high energy in the beginning gradually smoothing out for the chorus, the second verse picks you up and then coasting till the end with quotes from Nipsey Hussle.

When I asked about his influences, Wire names “Kendrick, Drake, (J.) Cole, Kanye, 3 Stacks, Big Sean..but one thing I gravitate towards the most is how they put stories together through their music…they’re contributing to the culture of hip-hop and that’s all I ever want to do.”

Wire’s projects are usually a season of where he currently is in life. Thinking about his mindset for “Reflections,” Wire says, “this is the season of executing. This is the season of discipline. This is the season of stepping out of my comfort zone. I feel like that’s the best way I could describe it, you know, it’s kind of hard because the feeling is intangible.” At just 10 songs, totaling 28 minutes, “Reflections is well worth the time spent listening.

Related:

Noble Twitter Music Writer
Noble is a music writer and contributor to WBUR.

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