It's not hard to separate the innovators in rap music from those who just aren't hauling any weight in the music scene, and Armani No.1 renders us a definitive example of why on "Don't Choke".
Armani No.1 is most stimulating when he performs under the adhesive wordsmithing of his "Rap Viper" and "YVNG ARISTOCRAT" personas. Here, he is a gushing, ad-lib appropriating force of nature; merciless in his distribution of "Don't Choke." He pulls up on your girl and recruits a rap star spirit that manifests in the song's production machetes that land fatally. His flow is sometimes bouncy, and then occasionally fluid with a triplet measure, but always stays lofty in delivery.
"I'm a classy Jigga, I meet them Jay-Z figures, I make them bust like triggers," he raps, erupting like a missile and causing a hazy half triplet flourish of stabs towards his opposers. The song's beat incorporated the tube-like punch with its kick, quietly devastating behind Armani's ardent grit, while the rest of the mix is saturated with cascading ad-libs and pads that surging and overlap atop one another.
He knows precisely how to inject the ad-libs, when to assert threats, and is never lethargic in his drone of the menacing mantra in the chorus. All of this luster and boasting are echoing of his self-indulging persona for this track. The root of his decorum is layered in his ability to grab an audience's attention, which feeds his insatiable hunger as an artist.
His librettos advance on the music scene with an intense boldness while sustaining its contemporary allure as "Don't Choke" bags a spot in our playlists this summer.
When did you know which direction you wanted to go with regarding your numerous artistic personas for "Don't Choke?"
I knew that I wanted to give the “Rap Viper” some shine as my other two personas have tracks solely dedicated to them. My last single, “High & Dry”, was more emotional, so I felt that it was time to get out of my feelings and get into my summer bag. The Rap Viper was the perfect choice for a summer banger.
What typically encourages your motivation to create music? Has there been something you confide in for this purpose since you started writing at 10 years old?
My mood motivates me to create music. I can write songs based on how I’m feeling/felt. Thinking back to my 10-year-old self I was writing about having fun, making moments last, and other random things a 10-year-old would think of.
Do you have a producer that helps achieve some of the characters you want to enhance in your music, or is this a solo venture?
I work with different producers, so nothing is entirely a solo venture. My last few singles were all produced by different people. I choose to work with different producers since I love different genres and styles of music. Producers give me a canvas and I do the painting.
What did you feel were the main messages you needed to express through this record, and can we expect more of this exciting temper in future music?
I wanted to express that it’s okay to be confident in your needs and your body whether that’s sexually, physically, or emotionally. We can expect more of this energy. I love to switch things up. My next single sounds different from “Don’t Choke”, but I’ll always have that intensity and confidence. That has always been the underlying thread through my music.
What has been keeping you inspired throughout 2020? What can we expect to see next from you?
My passion for music keeps me going. 2020 has brought many major ups and downs for me, but music has kept me going. I believe its important to still strive for your goals even in a time like this. Next, I’m going to release more material for "Don’t Choke". I’m going to take it up a notch with the video and I’ll be doing choreography.