Photo by AXCcreative.com
If there was ever a notable Philly’s Phinest post for me to write, it’s about this next artist, M11SON (pronounced Mason). I met M11SON right before the pandemic at Studio Breed, where he’s one of the owners on top of the millions of projects he works on at once. When we first talked, we hit it off fairly quickly. From there, he became one creative in Philly who I really respect and whose friendship I cherish deeply. I have had the privilege of sitting in on quite a few of M11SON’s recording sessions, and his process is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Mainly because there is no process (not that I could piece together, at least)! We sit around and hang out, drinking whatever we can get our hands-on. The producer (usually either Mavericc or Lectriq, who are both remarkable) plays something new for us all to check out. A couple of minutes will go by, and I won’t even realize that M11SON’s been mumbling quietly to himself with his phone in his hand, typing away. The next thing I know, he hops in the booth and creates absolute magic out of thin air. It will never cease to amaze me! This man has the most extensive collection of songs I have ever encountered, ensuring that he never has a dry spell when releasing music (a tip that I recommend for every artist!). My favorite part is the variety, spanning genres, influences, styles, and everything in between. It’s easily one of the most diverse catalogs I have ever listened to. If I’m being frank, I simply didn’t write this post sooner because I had no idea where to start.
However, with the new release of M11SON’s new album, Charming, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. One of the most fascinating things about M11SON is that while he has his insanely comprehensive music collection under the moniker M11SON, the music doesn’t end there. M11SON also releases music under other aliases, including Sakred Wolves, Future Coyote, and 808 Kills. Each group reveals a new side of the artist’s talents, showcasing his wide assortment of skills, including singing, rapping, and songwriting. And yet it’s the music he releases as M11SON that reveals his most authentic and vulnerable craft.
The first album I heard from M11SON was when I met him in 2019. He released Compromise, a genuinely innovative and unique Hip-Hop album. “Screw Up” and “Aliens and Angels” were among the stand-out tracks for me, and in getting to know M11son, I could see what parts of his mind these tracks stemmed from, which was indeed an honor. But there was one song for me that honestly felt life-changing, and it was a song called “By Myself.” That song can conjure the most solemn and numbing of emotions, and it was one song that really connected M11SON and me. When I told him that it was my favorite, he was surprised because it apparently wasn’t a typical pick but revealed that it was one of his favorites as well. We knew that we had an extraordinary musical kinship.
I consider myself lucky that I’ve gotten to experience M11SON’s music in such intimate settings, but that never takes away from the excitement that I feel when he officially releases something, even if I have heard it before. Charming was no different. I first got to hear Charming all the way through at M11SON’s album-release party, and while it was a very different direction from the first album, the project stuck with me. It was finally officially released on January 28th, and since then, it’s been on repeat. The album, which features production and additional vocals from M11SON’s protege, Mavericc, demonstrates the dynamic duo’s bold choices, showing that there aren’t many risks they aren’t willing to take to create a magical album.
“Charming is an ode to the closest thing to mourning without death. Breakups and severance from someone we once loved has its own grieving process but sometimes it’s all jumbled up. Mavericc and I created a sonic story that almost anyone can related to from one side or the other, even if they’re not as much of a train wreck as Prince Charming himself…”— M11SON
The one thing that captivated me most when I first heard Compromise was M11SON’s vivid story-telling. When I listened through Charming, I not only got to experience that again but in an even more heightened sense. M11SON’s growth as an artist paired with his incredible chemistry with Mavericc shined through the entire album, showing immense development from both of them. The project allows the listener to experience every stage of grief from the twisted mind of M11SON, creating chaos and confusion as you try to navigate through his emotions along with him. The album’s blueprint, from the song lengths to the number of tracks to the interludes, is technically perfect. Still, on top of that, the songs are so multi-faceted that it is easy to get lost in this album, listening to it on repeat before you could even realize it.
While I love getting hypnotized by M11SON’s smooth vocals, the songs that caught my attention the most take a slightly more aggressive approach. “Guess We Through” is one of them, easing us into the toxicity that’s just waiting to be unleashed. But the song that stuck with me from the very first moment I heard it is “Fresh,” where we get to see M11SON drown out his feelings and unleash his fuckboy. The production is funky and absurd, the lyrics are a catchy trip. It’s just overall a fucking dope song, and I can’t get enough of it. Songs like “Sober” and “Too Quiet” illustrate how genres mean nothing to Mavericc and M11SON, and I’ve gotten to see that first-hand in watching the two record. They beautifully blend elements from every type of genre imaginable to create a sound unique to themselves, thus releasing an album that’s as out of the box as their personalities. I really am so proud of both of them.
If you enjoyed this album, M11SON has big plans for releasing a groundbreaking NFT collection to accompany it. Additionally, if you’re anything like me and have played this album so many times that you can’t see straight, don’t fret. M11SON is simply not human and already has another EP titled S11CKO, set to release later this month. This project will unveil M11SON’s darker side that he teased in Charming, so get ready! You can also connect with M11SON at his socials below to learn about upcoming performances and releases.
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