By Adrianna Elias
Paris Texas, the enigmatic alt-rap hip-hop duo from Los Angeles, returns with their sophomore album MID AIR. Following the success of their previous album releases, Boy Anonymous, and EP releases like Red Hand Akimbo. With four singles released before the album dropped, fans were already hyped for what the duo had in store.
The album kicks off with a hard-hitting intro, “tenTHIRTYseven,” setting the tone for the intense ride ahead. Drawing influences from artists like Death Grips, Odd Future and clipping, Paris Texas presents a sound that is both familiar and refreshingly unique. Their incorporation of heavy guitar and drums and parallel performances by Denzel Curry adds a dynamic rock edge to their rap style.
As Louie Pastel, one-half of the duo, reflects on their musical journey, he shares, “Yeah. I spent a lot of my teenage years channeling my angst into post-hardcore music and some rap, but not too much. A little bit after high school, I started diving into rap and finding my own tastes. There was this one artist that I liked, and I showed everybody else, and they were like, ‘No, this is f*cking stupid’. I showed Felix, and he was like, ‘I know about him, and I like him’. And so, we built this relationship where we would find different underground or low-key rappers and show each other. Later, our music tastes melded, but [Felix] had a head start with a lot of rappers.”
This insight into their musical influences and shared passion for discovering underground artists sheds light on the raw and experimental nature of Paris Texas’s music, solidifying their place as a unique and boundary-pushing duo in the alt-rap scene. It also reminds me of all the friends I have made because of a shared love for artists who constantly push the boundaries, Paris Texas being one of them.
Throughout the album, Paris Texas collaborates with other alt-rap artists, such as Kenny Mason and Teezo Touchdown, enhancing the diversity of their sonic palette. “DnD,” featuring Kenny Mason, delves into themes of self-identity and insecurity while maintaining a hard-hitting sound with acoustic guitar elements reminiscent of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box.”
One standout track on the album is “Lana Del Rey,” which highlights their ability to blend cold synths and powerful vocals, reminiscent of the Stooges, to create a captivating and intense experience for the listener. The final tracks take a turn towards indie rock, offering a contrasting yet equally compelling conclusion to the album.
The album encapsulates the essence of Paris Texas’s artistry: a fusion of hip-hop and guitars, a mix of genres that might have seemed unconventional in the past but now flourish in today’s post-genre music landscape. While elements of rap-rock might be reminiscent of bands like Rage Against the Machine, Paris Texas proves that anything goes in the current musical landscape, if it is executed with skill and creativity.
MID AIR cements Paris Texas’s position as an influential and innovative force in the alt-rap scene. With their bold approach to music-making, they continue to intrigue and captivate listeners, proving that the boundaries of music can indeed be pushed to create something extraordinary. The album is a must-listen for fans of alt-rap and anyone seeking a fresh and exhilarating musical experience.
Featured Image from Adrianna Elias.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu