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RiZ Works Hard to Make Himself an, "iKon"

RiZ is an upcoming artist born and raised in West Philadelphia, PA. Beginning his artistic journey by rapping throughout his high school years, it wasn’t until he was accepted into Penn State University where he would decide to take his childhood hobby and make it a solo career.

Honing in on his brand iKonBy25, RiZ has aimed to continuously put on shows for upcoming artists that are breaking into the music industry. Taking this opportunity to showcase his talents alongside theirs, RiZ is focused on organically delivering his versatility.

Eager to introduce a collection of five tracks that are sure to get stuck in your mind, RiZ presents the enticing sounds of his latest project, 'iKon. Beginning with the braggadocious introductory single, “Rollin (Ooh),” we immediately get to tap into the surplus of confidence that runs through the veins of his artistic being. Through an atmospheric instrumental that places great emphasis on the enticing hi-hats and mechanical drum patterns, RiZ conveys an array of cadences that are slicker than the former. Using this initial moment to bring listeners into his unmatched swagger, and introduce them to everything he embodies as a creative, we’re hooked on the irrefutable vigor that he serves to us on a silver platter.

Second, on the tracklist, we have the Hip-hop driven resonance of “Back In My Bag.” Continuing the upbeat vibrations that strike a sense of urgency through the speakers, RiZ applies a different type of pressure in the way he showcases the hunger in his vocalization. Playing upon the buoyant wave of the musical canvas, the punchy rhyme schemes and effervescent swing of his lyrical dexterity take the helm and steer us into a high octane performance that’s memorability sits at the top of our radar.

As we take the full plunge into RiZ’s artistic lane of creativity, we notice just how well-rounded he is at navigating his way around the new wave of Hip-hop. The lead single from 'iKon' is titled “Faucet,” and although the darker sounds that are etched into the instrumentation take a drill-inspired turn, we still hear the prominence of the style RiZ is known for. Switching up the vibe and delivering us something that we wouldn’t expect with the way the project is advancing, we’re grateful for the awestruck moment that comes from listening to “Faucet.”

“Know My Name,” sets the tempo to a more cognizant representation of what RiZ provides as an artist. Getting to know him on a more personal level through the storytelling motifs that immerse us in relatability, RiZ gets vulnerable with the verses he delivers. Accentuating the importance of the passion he holds within, anyone who is tapped into this record will be able to better understand RiZ as an individual away from the music. Like any good project, the difference between good and great is in the details, and with a song of this caliber, we’re exposed to what that means to RiZ.

Taking us to the final song that resides on 'iKon,' RiZ has us leaving on a high note with “Who Gon Ride.” The instrumentation mirrors the specific elements that compose the nature of reminiscent Hip-hop tenors. Adding his flair to give us a more modern representation, we admire the melodic hook that takes us into RiZ’ impeccably time verses. Combining the best of both worlds with a slower outro that weighs heavily on the words performed, the drive that RiZ embodies is remarkable.

Managing to transport us to five separate states of mind throughout the unraveling of 'iKon,' we deem this a sonic expedition worth embarking on. Listen to 'iKon,' today on all major streaming platforms.

Congratulations on the release of your latest project, “iKon.” With such an interesting array of concepts found in each song you present to us, what is the overall concept that you wanted to bring across the body of work as a whole?

Thank you. I appreciate that. I believe the overall concept here is really just me wanting to show the many sides of who I am and my character. A lot of times off of a first impression people feel like they may have you figured out but we as people are way more complex than that so that is what comes out in my music. Not just having one dimension. All of that encapsulates itself into "iKon", showing my intention in representing that.

How long did it take for you to create “iKon”? Did anyone assist you with bringing this vision to life?

I think it took me about two months from March to May to write this EP. It wasn't really intentional though. I'm always writing down "loose bars" I call them where I just write down witty one-liners that come to my mind throughout the days and will either expand on it there or wait until I'm in a writing mood and have a beat I like. Then I'll just pick a line I like and figure out a way to place it within a pocket often starting a new flow for the song. Beats were kind of popping up that I liked, I would write the song usually that night and move on until the next moment. Then I got a 10-hour studio session at Milkboy and hooked up with my engineer Automattic and we knocked out these 5 tracks in pretty much 6 hours. Just made added some creative sauces and that was it. There were 2 other songs but they're not ready yet lol, so I used the rest of the time to finish my Studio footage behind-the-scenes jawn for YouTube. But I will say too I felt pushed by those around me, there are enough stories for days but overall I'll say I could tell my music was like but it wasn't creating the reaction I wanted so I knew I had to come with some real heat this time around. Vocally and Writing though it's all me.

With “Faucet,” being the lead single of this project, what inspired you to let this song introduce what follows?

The faucet had to be the lead single for me because my last time out releasing music there were a lot of bops and female-related tracks. I was playing into the idea that girl records are my strong suit but had to remember I'm a rapper at the end of the day and let me just do what I do best and that's just rap. Faucet instrumental-wise is the most abrasive record on the project so I just wanted to hit listeners with something in the opposite direction of the girl records they were used to, to be like "yeah I can do this too". And overall I think it sets a tone for the tape with that point that on this I'm actually rapping but the songs don't sound similar. Just good energy and real energy. Trying to be authentic to me really.

With every artist being different, when did you know that “iKon” was ready for release?

The moment I was done recording the songs I knew, really. I never invite people to my studio sessions, usually 1 or 2 people but this time I invited about 10 people to create a vibe. No one got there until maybe 3 hours into recording then by the time most of the 5 songs were done everyone arrived. When there were only a few "Rollin (Ooh)" was done and they had a wow I'm impressed reaction. It was like a step-up reaction from what I usually receive. Then as the songs we're playing getting mixed everyone seemed like they were really enjoying it. So I decided to have Matt (Automattic) master them 5 right now and I'll see if I want to do the other records. As the songs played the energy in the studio soared and everyone was kinda like "yeah bro you're doing something with these." I knew right there I gotta put these records out, it was just a matter of creating a rollout at that point. My DJ, DJ Mr. Geek'd who also does my cover art started thinking of how he can mix it into his set and getting cover art ideas and we pretty much worked out the concept right there.

What would you like your audience to take away from the themes and messaging delivered in this release?

I just want listeners to get a hold of the "iKonBy25" energy I'm trying to put into the world. It's not just about me but also my family, close friends, and helping out my community and giving back once I'm in that position. I want them to feel the fun, feel the real, and just walk away entertained. Then come back to listen again lol. My main goal is to just get people to listen. I feel like if they give it a fair shot there has to be something they like on here if they're Hip-Hop fans. Then if they want to go share it or go check out my Instagram or Twitter to get a feel for where the music comes from or whatever they want as long as it can grow from there. That's the dream, right?

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