Atlanta-based Rapper, Joe Bleez, is a genuine and sobering lyricist who utilizes an intrinsic streak of hazy bangers to re-inject some heavy vibes into the modern Rap scene through his latest full-length album, 'Bet On Myself.'
The charm of this Belton, South Carolina native's capacity to turn up, catch up on space with his well-tempered flow, and to command the attention in any room, 'Bet On Myself' is pumped into.
Joe Bleez underscores his Travis-Scott reminiscent vibes and his mission to uproot some of the contemporary rap's miss-steps, but it's also strengthened with the reflection of this MC's past in this new album coming from the producer and mentor himself.
The self-titled album track is first up on this flowy and provocative album opener "Bet On Myself." He sets the primary tone of the album here through a haze fueled tiptoe across the B-line into a vibey pre-chorus: "You ain't one of us, you ain't one of us, remember they all use to front on us, but now we coming up," he nonchalantly expresses as the hi-hats cut deep.
It's a familiar Bleez attitude that emphasizes to his antagonists that his clique is equipped for a different level of the game as they plan to bet on nothing except themselves. "Now, they all wanna be one of us!" Joe Bleez warns in a cascading reverb with a ghostly sentiment.
As the chant exudes the final breaths on the opener, it pivots into the carefree "All Day Long," allowing Joe Bleez to release some of his vulnerability onto the listener. "What am I supposed to do? I feel like I'm overdue, worked a couple of lifetimes... I feel like I'm 0 for 2" Bleez confesses. Joe is honest here, it all feels light-hearted before he dives into a rant about social media and the fake reality that it often displays—all while flexing his tempered production, cooling down before bending back to his own will. He has always made the kind of music that might have you vibing through your issues with some support from the MC's dedicated flow, but seeing this young rapper always finds an opening to talk about his own internal bordering conflicts.
On "Inside Out," he makes his internal situation transparent and reflects on feeling alone in his turmoiling feelings. "You be smiling on the outside, real feelings hide'em on the inside," Joe Bleez divulges in the track's hook.
Atlanta, in particular, glows on the Joe Bleez produced anthem "Sativa," featuring rapper Sy Yung and songwriter/producer Tee Romano. He sets the song's energy with a swoony tone as he chants in the chorus, "You keep me up like Sativa, you keep me up like Sativa," Both features on this one are laced with a free contest on how to derive game from a dismantling flow with agitated rhythmic concepts to ante up on Joe Bleez's midsection of the album.
The alliance between Joe Bleez and his eclectic, utilitarian productions remains the most distinctive component of "Bet On Myself." All focus is contained on the lyricism, cutting flow, and unrelenting character of Joe's inner mind, but it's disenabled without the supporting programming. "Self-Esteem, so it seems, is a thing for everyone, you can't run from a dream, hold up," Joe relents on, "This Feeling.". It's a fundamental synergy that scatters out across into the spirit of his hazy, room encompassing measures in this album.
Entirely in sync over the hypnotically addictive hook on "Off Day," Joe Bleez and featured artist Jose are jaunty and spirited while annihilating their intervals on the mic. "So tonight you can call where you work at...and you won't be back to Friday how I work that, you had a death in the family cause I murked that, on your off day," Joe Bleeze exults. They're brilliant here as they play off one another's laborious flow, and they're synergizing without reservation.
"Bet On Myself" settles with the mellow and restrained "Top Floor." Mirroring the inauguration of the album's inception, Joe Bleez goes more deep-seated into this one, as he steers us back for a second. He raps about the fruits of his labor, and it feels like an engaging style of a sonnet type rap: "Go on stop the fuss, look how I whipped up this vision on straight up out the dust, and what I'm doing on this beat like I forgot to flush, it's like you took your favorite rapper back and got the plus." At just over three minutes, the song feels like a final salute and farewell until the next, fading out just as they open up: "Meet me at the top floor penthouse elevator, going straight to our floor, what we need to stop for? How I'll be on the top floor? Bet it on my self now I'm living like a rock star."
Joe Bleez has taken us on a journey through his penthouse as mentioned earlier of whimsically hard-hitting vibes, hazy room shapeshifting personas, and has amassed an abundance of respect with his compelling pieces tailored around his own life's narrative. Though Joe Bleez ends with a more laidback look back on his history, "Bet on Myself," is also a testament to the fruits of his labor, as his introspective album highlights his mastery over the genre he implores and the vibes he shares for his quickly growing fanbase.
We're completely captivated with the total command you radiate throughout, 'Bet On Myself.' How would you describe the process you followed when this album was still in the works?
Thank you. The process was just as the title states. It’s funny because we did not have the album title until the project was finished. The first song was the last one completed. The title really was indicative of the last 5 years of my life because I truly did bet on myself. I left a 20 year, 6-figure career in corporate America because I realized that in order for me to truly be happy and have no regrets in life, I needed to follow my passion and bet on myself. It was a conscious bet on the belief that faith, hard work, and a relentless pursuit of self-improvement would ultimately bring me the success that I desire in life. The process of completing this album was done with that mindset. When did you know the direction you wanted this album to flow in and the specific collaborators you wanted to feature on it?
The actual album itself was recorded in two waves. I did 6 of the songs in 2019 over the course of about a week or so. All Day Long, Different Now, and Slo It Down were part of the first batch. People were really feeling those songs so I started toying with the idea of an EP release. The collaborations all happened organically with people that I already have relationships with. The song ‘Sativa’ features Sy Yung who is a former MLB pitching prospect and artist that I produce (as well as being one of my day one homies) and Tee Romano, an industry insider who has written and produced for everyone from Chris Brown to the Migos. Then Jose, my nephew, brought me the song ‘Off Day’. The track, the hook, and the first verse were complete, so all I had to do was add my sauce. Inside Out was produced by my potna Luther T who I collaborate with regularly in Atlanta. The 2nd wave of songs was done in 2020 after we decided to release the project. Songs like Inside Out and Tell Me were some of the final cuts to make the album. What typically encourages your artistic creation throughout your day?
I like to start my morning routine with some sort of exercise. Then I read for about 30 minutes to an hour, then meditate. Once that is done, I start to tackle my To-Do list for the day. I like to do creative tasks first because I feel the most creative in the morning. I can muscle through the boring stuff after lunch, then it’s back to being creative again in the evenings. I usually sleep about 5 or 6 hours a night and then I am right back up and getting back to work. 6 days a week, sometimes 7. Is there something, in particular, you do or practice that helps to fabricate some of the vibes you're known for?
The music is vibey because I’m a vibey person. I am always aware of my energy and I am constantly looking for ways to increase my vibrational frequency. I create a vibe in the studio before I create the music. Nightlights and incense are a must. I find that if I focus on getting my energy right, the creative part is effortless. On the contrary, if I find myself trying too hard in the studio… Oh well, I'll go watch some type of documentary on someone I admire or just binge watch something like The Wire, Power, Narcos, or Ozark. I am a huge fan of Ted Talks and Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. Oddly enough, one of my favorite pastimes for raising my vibe is watching the show Ridiculousness on MTV. Sometimes you just gotta unplug and laugh at some dumb sh*t!
For creative inspiration and technical evaluation, I like listening to some of the vets like Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Scarface, Outkast, Public Enemy, or UGK. Or I’ll check out some of the new energy like Lil Baby, Travis Scott, Rod Wave, or anything Metro Boomin or TM88 produced. You touch on some more vulnerable points in your music, it must feel confronting sometimes putting it down for everyone to experience. How do you find the muscle to expose some of the subjects you describe on the album?
That’s what makes me unique as a new artist. Especially as a hip hop artist. As hip-hop fans, we have never heard a 40 something-year-old NEW rapper. There is no model. My topics are much more venerable and relatable because I’m much more venerable and relatable now. I know what it’s like to be a regular person working in corporate America. Most of us are not out in the club ‘popping bottles’ or in the trap ‘getting off packs.’ What we DO know about is scrolling through our phones on our lunch break feeling like there’s got to be more to life. I have the courage to talk about it because I believe that the truth will resonate with people. Even if it is not the ‘cool’ thing to say, people will feel it. I have been pleasantly surprised at the feedback from songs like All Day Long and Inside Out as they are definitely not the traditional, hyper-masculine hip-hop songs. Truthfully though, I just think hip-hop is growing up… and so are the artists and the messages. Thanks for dealing "Bet On Myself" out into the world and for sharing it here at BuzzMusic! We can't wait to have you back. As someone who is clearly dedicated to their craft and in their career, what would you say is your primary goal this year for your artistic development and expression moving forward?
My primary goal is always about continuous self-improvement through mental and spiritual expansion. I think that will always come through in my work. I am constantly working at being the most authentic version of myself in each and every moment. Generally speaking for this year, my goal is to continue to elevate, motivate, and empower people. I made it my business to inspire people to believe in themselves and to find excitement in learning about the amazing things that we can accomplish once we get past our fears. My goal is to show the world that you can trust in the process of learning yourself, loving yourself, and being yourself. Specific measurable goals - achieve #1 on Billboard and win a Grammy award (artist, writer, producer OR engineer **IDGAF) What has been keeping you inspired in 2020?
The amazing feeling that I get when I complete something that I set out to accomplish is always a driving force in my life. Knowing that I can make a difference in someone else’s life by living my most authentic life is inspiring to me.
Living under that premise, I bet on myself everyday… and every day I’m winning.