Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, AL is May 16-18, 2014 - www.hangoutmusicfest.com

Harn Solo

Journey to the Sky

(Independent)

Harn Solo, Journey to the Sky, album cover

Hip-hop’s fascination with outer space has been well documented to the point where rapper aliens have become a worn-out trope. MCs really have to go the extra creative mile to avoid the space-voyaging clichés. That’s where Harn Solo comes in. Journey to the Sky is more than just bloated space raps. Solo constructs an album that brings the moon’s surface right down to Frenchmen Street—one sonic foot in a fresh pair of Nikes and another in NASA space boots.

Solo’s dual citizenship is apparent on the aptly titled “Star Status,” where he shifts from a cruising flow to a double-time delivery fast enough to keep up with the Millennium Falcon. His calling card is his patented unmistakable low growl, a voice that guides the album’s narrative. Solo has an uncanny ability to ride the beat with his melodies, as evident on tracks such as “Time Machine.” The hook sticks in your head and refuses to leave. Actually, the highlights of Journey to the Sky come from the addictive melodies that beg for you to hit rewind.

But let’s not get it twisted: Harn Solo is a rapper first, and his penchant for speedy bars at a head-rattling pace at unexpected times makes every verse on his (inter)stellar album an enthralling listen.