Graphic by: Kara Bradimore
Yoshi Flower, a writer producer and multi-genre artist from Detroit Michigan, released his debut mixtape, AMERICAN RAVER on October 12th on GRDN/Interscope Records. This mixtape includes a track produced by Danny Brown’s producer, Skywlkr, as well as features from Jesse Rutherford of The Neighbourhood, emerging artist, Reddish Blu, and skits by Los Angeles comedian, Brandon Wardell. Blending together hip-hop and electro-pop beats, AMERICAN RAVER gives us variety of raw lyrics and lively song vibes.
“America, just like a rave, is built and thrown on beautiful principals.” says Yoshi of the mixtape. “Those values have warped, the ‘dance-o-cracy’ seems stacked, forcing us to pick scripts that clash with our true selves in hopes for prosperity, survival and acceptance. Should we leave the party if we don’t fit in? Or can we re-build as a collective of individuals free to express ourselves authentically? We grew up being taught someone else’s version of what is, now we’re creating our own versions of what could be.”
Although musically gifted from a young age, Yoshi Flower spent most of his childhood watching his father provide pro bono legal work for musicians throughout the 90’s. Twenty years later and Yoshi is taking to the industry to showcase his personal talents and life experiences through his music. Recently releasing his debut project Brown Paper Bag (Maxi) this past September 2018, The Fader premiered the track “Brown Paper Bag 2.0” calling it a “guitar-rap dream” and stating “Together, the pair creates a mood that’s both angsty and boastful”.
With the hype of that project gaining serious momentum in the industry, this mixtape was highly anticipated and brings together fans from numerous genres. At Imprint, we were offered the opportunity to review this 31 minute mixtape of awesomness and couldn’t get enough! If this is just Yoshi’s debut album, we can’t wait to see what he produces in the future!
AMERICAN RAVER track-list:
- I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE is a 1:45 minute acoustic song that’s about lavish spending when trying to save. “I’m spending it. All my bank on Gucci frames, Louis shades, all in vain on five star fades, rock star chains.”
- TO THE RAVE is a 3:24 minute song that starts out with a slower tempo until 00.19 seconds in when the bass kicks in and picks up the song. With lyrics such as “Your body is burning on my brain There’s one thing I must say to you, my baby…” and “I’m paralyzed, paralyzed, you’re parallel by my side…” it’s easy to tell this song is about the girl who captures the attention of everyone in the room, but is unsustainable and too far out of reach.
- iii is a hilarious little 00.31 second voice recording skit from Brandon Wardell where he pretends to be Yoshi’s dad and is clearly not impressed by the previous song.
- OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is a 4:07 minute song that is one of my personal favorite tracks on this mixtape. The sound is different and much more upbeat than the previous songs and has a very poppy vibe. With relatable lyrics about life, dealing with hardships, feeling alone and wanting someone to simply understand, it’s an interesting mixture between sound and lyrical content. “It’s so hard being alone. It’s probably why we’re always stoned.” Escaping from reality to let loose now and again. “We’ll make it out, escape from the underground. And all of our same freaky old funny friends, they turn to us in the end.”
- AND TO THE MACHINE is a 2:13 minute song about being resilient and attempting to bonce back from whatever it is that attempts to bring us down. “I called to say that I’m okay, the opposite of yesterday.” Not all things are easy to get over though and this song alludes to having a certain someone stuck on the mind when they shouldn’t be. “I’m controlled by your machine, we rage against the machine. I just want your machine. Push keys til the day that we die”
- FOR WHICH I DANCE ft. Jesse Rutherford is a 3:11 minute song that is my personal favorite track from this mixtape. Both Yoshi and Jesse pair well together, providing an interesting beat and fantastic emotionally raw lyrics. “Children of the night , pull up to the function we ain’t scared of nothing,” and “‘Cause you can’t buy your way to heaven, but you can sure as hell try. You go out drinking with the devil but only darkness you’ll find. I’m always looking for the light.”
- … is another little skit from Brandon Wardell, this time 00.43 seconds long and a mock campaign speech; “Hi, I’m Cody Sisco. I’m hoping to be America’s first Raver president…”
- ONE LOVER is a song about breaking down the walls that we’ve all personally built and letting our guard down for someone special. This is the ultimate love song of this mixtape with lyrics like “I’ll be loving you til the end of days, under sycamore trees through the alley ways,” and “Yesterday I saw your face. Yesterday, I can’t escape. Now I wonder all the time when my heart will break. Will my lungs collapse from the purple haze?” This song lets us see just how much of a hopeless romantic Yoshi can be.
- UNDER CONTROL ft. Reddish Blu is a 2:54 minute song that introduces us to emerging artist, Reddish Blu who has a lovely voice. This song is similar in sound to the previous songs, however it shows us Yoshi’s smooth rapping style. “We were hiding from the jack, smoking in the cul-de-sac. Windows blurry, rearview cracked and once we’re gone, no looking back.”
- INVISIBLE is a 3:34 minute song with a strong electro-pop influence. With a mix of singing and light rapping, it has a catchy chorus that had me dancing bopping along in my chair and is still stuck in my head. “I can’t figure it out, why I like when we drown. Let’s stare at the sun, let it burn with our eyes wide open. Still wondering why we don’t like being fine. Just say that your mine, get me high.”
- WITH LIBERTY (produced by Skywlkr) So this song started out very interesting and is very different than the other songs on this mixtape. This song really provides a range of different sound that is memorizing to listen to. Truthfully, the first listen though of this song, I couldn’t even take notes because I was just so zoned into it. Definitely a personal favorite track. “This hope is dope and it’s all for free
Now both of our ghosts go in harmony”
- !!!! a final funny 1:00 minute skit from Brandon Wardell playing Yoshi’s dad again, in which he is still not impressed with the mixtape. “You’re doing a lot of lying on this mixtape. You’re talking about driving a Lambo. Son, you drive a Ford Fiesta… you’ve never been in a Lambo.” I nearly spat out my drink. Comedy in a mixtape? Absolutely genius.
- AND JUSTICE FOR SOME this 3:03 minute song mashes up a little bit of every sound provided throughout the previous twelve songs. Soft guitar, with a fun indie pop vibe and catchy lyrics was a fantastic way to wrap up this mixtape. “The wide open road, move in slow-mo. Hanging out the window.”
Overall this is a really well done debut mixtape for Yoshi and I thoroughly enjoyed listing to it. I really like how the familiar pop vibe went with a more raw or acoustic guitar in each song. It was different with a very unique blend of sound and powerful lyrical content. American Raver is available for streaming below and you can purchase the mixtape from one of the links below. #Supportartists
Yoshi Flower “AMERICAN RAVER”
Apple Music: http://smarturl.it/AMERICANRAVER/applemusic
Google Play: http://smarturl.it/AMERICANRAVER/googleplay