New York-based Hip Hop artist St. Geo thrives off of inventive and original concepts for his raps. Always keeping things fresh and exciting, he brings something new with each song. St. Geo's latest album 'Stomach' showcases his thoughtful lyrics and stimulating beats, a look into his talent, and what he can bring to Hip Hop.
St. Geo introduces the album' Stomach' with the raw and high-energy "Macchiato." The incoming powerhouse beat is coupled with the hardcore, electrified hook. Featured speaking's of Phillip Price swoop in with an ethereal, almost eerie spoken verse where he ponders life and the offerings of hard work. "Macchiato" embodies the idea of knowing you deserve what you've worked for and building a legacy. It touches on the corruptness of the business world and how everything is built to work against you. With the gritty, combative vocals and metaphorical lyrics, "Macchiato" is a strong-willed album opener that opens your mind to what the rest of 'Stomach' has in store.
"Baptism (Annihilate)" is the second track off of 'Stomach' and will have you thinking deeply about society. When the beat comes in, the rap is hard at work delivering head-turning lines. The chorus falls darker, with low and loud vocal effects and overlapping themes. The bridge brings a new wave of instrumentation when St. Geo's encapsulating vocals add a mysterious and eccentric vibe to "Baptism (Annihilate)." He ponders the unfairness of western culture and how some people get swept behind and can't bring themselves back up. As the melody falls lower and lower, we are reminded how calculated everything around us is. Many things are edited, portrayed as some version of itself that has been warped, or annihilated.
The energy stays high with the next song, "Ivory Dice," a shout into the void to whatever or whoever may be listening. "Ivory Dice" makes an impression with its throwback feel and impressionistic lyrics. The beat carries you through feelings of going day to day in chaos, dodging bullets constantly being thrown. This hopeless atmosphere has St. Geo wondering about a higher power, living a spiritual life but pondering whether God is really listening. He embraces the unknown and thrives in it; his creative and enthralling music proof that he can push through life's obstacles.
The next song, "Downtown Babylon," has a rock feel underneath the Hip Hop beat, with that classic St. Geo sound. This one starts a little bit slower and mysterious but quickly picks up the pace, and before you know it, this quick song has come to a close. St. Geo's verses tell the listener about trying to keep the peace, how people can be materialistic, and what current politicians thrive off of: violence and hate. He closes the song off, asking a single question, "Are you brave or are you savage?" leaving you in a cliff-hanger of your own thoughts. Like the previous songs on 'Stomach,' St. Geo puts a catchy beat to intriguing concepts that separate his music from typical Hip Hop.
As soon as the first beat drops, the listener has no doubt "Surrounded by Angels" carries the inspiration needed to believe in themselves and seize the day. The more melodic choruses give "Surrounded by Angels" a tune that will get stuck in your head, and the rap vocals are as fiery as ever. The lower amount of backing beats and melodies on the verses allow focus on St. Geo's message. He preaches that though we all have our demons, that is not what defines us.
"Oasis" has a unique start, with vocal sounds of confusion before the beat and lyrics kick in. This song has a more aggressive, combative sound, but when the chorus comes, the tone changes. St. Geo is looking for a better life, a new utopic world. "Oasis" flows very smoothly, the chorus perfectly complimenting the bustling verses. The chorus vocals are layered and represent the out of reach oasis St. Geo is trying to reach with echoes and other effects. St. Geo brings us back to reality with the crisp vocals of the verses.
"Lunatic" opens with female vocals and quotes from Elliot Anderson and Tyrell Wellick from the popular drama series Mr.Robot, a recurring theme throughout this track. St. Geo jumps in to carry the song away, giving a message that we'll end up okay despite the melancholy of life. The theatrical production of the intro paired with the piano underlying the lyrics gives "Lunatic" a more atmospheric feeling than his previous songs. He references the lunatic inside each of us, the darkness inside each of our minds that could take over if we let it. St. Geo leaves off "Lunatic," referencing his next song, "Like Belly," a perfect transition to the closing few songs of the album.
St. Geo keeps delivering on his performances, and "Like Belly" is no exception. The distorted and unmelodic background vocals add a unique element to the striking song, the main vocals as bold as ever. "Like Belly" has a repetitive and catchy hook, arguably the most interesting song lyrically with expressive metaphors and vivid vocals. St. Geo gives all the songs on stomach an interconnected plot with repeating lyrics, and "Like Belly" complements his other creations well.
The title track of the album "Stomach" begins similarly to other tracks on the album, with a spoken intro to give the listener a peek at what the song will allude to. The fire beat of "Stomach" is sure to get your blood pumping, and there is no shortage of endorphins in this one. St. Geo raps about feelings of starvation even when surrounded by food and promising big cities. They may look inviting, but they can swallow you whole if you aren't ready to fight for what you want.
St. Geo closes off the album with "Shoe Full of Sand," another life-pondering question to throw out into the world. How many shoes full of sand would it take to make a difference to a beach before anyone noticed you were taking them? St. Geo uses his dynamic vocals to fire away a song that entirely verses, no chorus or breaks. He tirelessly tells his truth and leaves you wondering what he will do next. Change takes a lot more than just a shoe full of sand, and this is how St. Geo finishes his thought-provoking, innovative album.
Your lyrics are quite complex and interconnected, it is clear you put a lot of thought into the thematic flow of "Stomach". What was your creative process like when deciding on the themes that reside in 'Stomach', and how did you plan it out conceptually?
I followed my gut, no pun intended. My creative process is an inward dive. External factors get minimized. It becomes very isolating. Sometimes disorientating. But the end result is beautiful to me because it IS me. Conceptually, I wanted something guttural. Something primal in nature. I spend a good portion of my time lost in the wave… just vibing… listening to beats… pondering….. I spend far less time actually writing. However, with regards to the lyrics, they needed to be sharp. Always. I choose to push my pen… and the complex interconnected connected lyrics are a bit of me showing respect for all the dope rappers who came before me that inspired me to do what I do. Poetry means everything to me. Then after recording, it’s post-production time. During that time, it’s mixing and mastering, and I work more on sequencing, editing, and putting the final touches on the art.
What is the significance of the addition of speeches/dialog from the TV show Mr. Robot? What made you decide to include these on several songs on 'Stomach?'
I love Mr. Robot. It’s one of my favorite shows of all time. I think Sam Esmail deserves endless props for his work. Pretty much every character had something about them that I could relate to or something that really interested me. Early in my ‘STOMACH recordings, I started to see how my songs connected to certain moments in the show. Macchiato felt like Philip Price. Irving’s speech to encourage (or manipulate) Wellick was perfect to set off “Surrounded by Angels.” People have told me my writing has a cinematic quality. I think the connection with a show like Mr. Robot helps draw out different visual feels. Also, it’s a way for me to pay homage to art that inspires me. It makes orchestrating the project more exciting. Now, it’s kind of a signature for me.
When deciding on your lead single for 'Stomach', what factors did you consider? What song did you feel would be the most impactful out of the songs on 'Stomach'?
For me, it’s a vibe. There isn’t much benefit to overthinking it. I kind of let the songs fight it out and they eventually let me know who the champion is. For my first project, ‘STEAM’, I wanted to lead with something more aggressive. Something with a punch. For this project, I wanted to lead off with something that had more heart. Something a bit more aspirational than angry. “Surrounded by Angels” just fit the bill. It was one of the last songs I recorded but quickly became the overwhelming favorite from my circle.
How does 'Stomach' compare to your previous album releases? Did you encounter any new challenges when creating 'Stomach?'
I think every bit of art I create comes from a specific space. For ‘STEAM’, I was setting the table. Introducing people to a particular vibe…. A particular way in which I view life in the urban metropolis. My creative process was evolving during those recordings and there was a lot more experimentation. I learned a lot about myself and the ways I was able to get closer and closer to my truth. I guess I took the lessons from that and was able to steamroll (pun intended) the creative process for ‘STOMACH’. I knew what I wanted to do, so it was more about execution. It was more about finessing different spaces to deliver the desired emotions with pinpoint accuracy. The difficulty was doing better. I love what I was able to create with ‘STEAM.’ The need to improve upon what I did with ‘STEAM’ while understanding that at the same time, ‘STOMACH’ had to be something on its own came with its difficult moments. But overall, I think we accomplished the objective. Also, me and Lord Cise (producer of Surrounded By Angels, Lunatic, Like Belly, and Shoe Full of Sand) were able to connect the music to the overall themes of Mr. Robot in cool new ways too… from sampling to instrumentation and thematic moments, I feel this project connects maybe on more levels than my first.
How would you plan out a live performance of 'Stomach'? What themes would you want to translate on stage with you?
The ‘STOMACH’ Stage Experience is something that is exciting, motivational, and interactive. The crowd and I will be together through a wave of energy, laughs, cries, anger, and inspiration. Without giving too many production tricks away, I think the end result will be the people in attendance leaving with a sense that they went on a journey. From A to Z. From nothing to something. ‘STOMACH’ is about understanding that any dream that may appear to be unattainable could be realized…. However, it requires a level of respect from step one. From the beginning moments, you must embrace how hard it will be. Quit now if you can’t wrap your head around that difficulty…… but if you have the stomach for it, the recollection of these moments will be nothing short of beautiful. I intend for that to resonate with the audience always as they look back at the time we shared.