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Read CreativeLoafing’s profile on ETHEREAL below.
Spend enough of your waking life in Atlanta traffic and it will find its way into your dreams. Nobody knows this better than 23-year-old rapper and producer Obie Rudolph, who claims to have remembered only five dreams in his life, all of which took place in cars. In one of them, his family was backed up on the highway while directly overhead a group of UFOs conducted what he calls an “alien Macy’s Day Parade.” In another, his mother was towing a tractor-trailer filled entirely with apples.
Under the moniker Ethereal, Rudolph has spent the last several years quietly stoking a reputation as one of Atlanta hip-hop’s most forward-thinking young talents. With his mixtapes Abstractica, released last year via Yelawolf’s Slumerican imprint, and Da Etherbeets EB, a collaboration with Supreme INK’s Kosherbeets, he’s carved out a mellow niche in the art-rap sphere. Dense collages of unstable rhythms and new age synth textures interlaced with off-kilter R&B interludes and bits of movie dialogue have become his MO. His latest, Car Therapy (self-released December 12), emerges as the soundtrack to the ultimate rush-hour daydream, a fluid song cycle engineered to be hot-boxed through after-market subwoofers on a Georgia afternoon. Car Therapy features collaborations with REKchampa, Nicole Alexandria, and more, and it’s the mostly instrumental moments via such songs as “Creep,” “Pearl Blue Soul,” and “Ghetto Bird (the Chase)” where he truly expands upon the style he established in the past.
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