Seattle has a Drake problem and his name is Ryan Caraveo. Hello, emo (or is that hella emo?) could be the subtitle to Ryan’s latest clip, “Paradise” (directed by Chris Volkmann). Like Drake’s best material, this music only lives in the present, serving to make us feel something, anything, like, right now. Everything’s well-lit, but then so is the produce section at Whole Foods. Ryan — and his new album, Swings — was built for mass consumption.
Ryan Caraveo represents a burgeoning youth movement in Seattle hip-hop that nods to a more pop-oriented sound. The rapper’s new album, Swings, doesn’t set our hair on fire, but then 206UP’s sensibly aged staff are probably not the target demographic here.
Still, points for trying as Ryan is definitely a talented songwriter and the production on Swings aims for arena-sized sound and succeeds on that front in many places. Lyrically, however, the LP just skims the surface; there’s an undercurrent of an interesting narrative alluded to on tracks “Forever Be Alive” and “Legend” but otherwise it’s mostly Drake-lite, self-confessionals and color-by-numbers inspiration rap. Ryan Caraveo swings and hits a ground rule double.
Grab the album on iTunes here, and check out videos for “Godmode” and “Betty,” below.
Ryan Caraveo’s “Godmode” is the rapper’s last release before his album Swings hits the streets on December 12. There’s an auto-tuned, Drake-lite flow and a perfectly coiffed head of hair in this one. That’s about it though, family. Go check Ryan out live at his album release party at the Crocodile if you’re so inclined.
Seattle rap upstart Ryan Caraveo dropped this pop-rap ditty to all the tatted-up cool girls in our midst. At some point I blinked and the hipster aesthetic became status quo. For those women (and men) who still find themselves living ink free (and stubbornly): You will have your redemption — those Williamsburg firebrands who made it en vogue are now pushing strollers through McCarren Park and sprouting gray hairs from beneath their slouchy hats. Golden retrievers and West Elm furniture are a hell of an equalizing force.
Watch for Ryan’s Swings coming soon.