Willie J Drops New Single
Thanks to the innovations within the tech world, it’s never been easier to record music in high definition, studio-quality audio from virtually any venue you can think of. Gone are the days where musicians were slaves to the soundboard, sweating it out in the claustrophobic confines of a soundproofed room while they’re trying to hash out their craft from scratch. As great as this revolution in grassroots ethos has been for connecting international audiences with previously removed, isolated indie artists, it should be said how much more competitive the industry has become as a result of this massive influx of new talent. With that considered, Willie J’s most recent collaboration with legendary boxer and gifted singer Arthur Anthony, “Sunshine With the Rain,” goes above and beyond in captivating listeners with its intrepid, full-color audio and enchanting harmonies presented in stereo.
Willie J has made a career out of showing the establishment exactly where its falling short in getting listeners excited about pop again, and on “Sunshine With the Rain,” he and Anthony Arthur basically declare war on the corrupt corporate element of R&B. While his music has never failed at drawing our attention away from his mundane rivals, it wasn’t until this moment in his career that his sound has truly had the chance to spread out and deliver all of the raw audacity that he’s really capable of producing. He’s making a power play for mainstream exposure, and it’s clear after just a single listen of this track that he isn’t planning on taking any prisoners along the way.
This is undeniably a sweet slice of melodic Midwestern hip-hop, but there’s also an exotic, almost avant-garde bend to its arrangement that really adds a physicality to this song that just wasn’t present in his previous work. Willie J has grown up before our very ears, and “Sunshine With the Rain” is his graduation from the indie scene and entrance into the upper tier on the hierarchy of R&B and hip-hop. This guy doesn’t even strike me as a power hungry character; if anything, Willie J’s devotion to this craft is what makes his style so regal and calculated. As a musician myself, I respect how much love and passion he puts into his work.
For hip-hop and R&B fans alike, it doesn’t get much rawer or real than Willie J. He’s the real article, a student of soul and a steward of rhythm, and “Sunshine With the Rain” is one of many stunningly thoughtful contributions he’s made to the American songbook. It has been said by many a music scholar that the most important aspect of any songwriter is their versatility and subsequent ability to appeal to listeners of all backgrounds and tastes. Willie J doesn’t write songs just for R&B fans; he writes music for people who love music and the indescribable feelings that it can evoke, and if that isn’t the definition of a great composer in its purest and simplest form, I don’t really know what is.
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