Minnesota based hip-hop / r&b group thestand4rd just released their debut project, a self-titled album that is one of my favorite releases of the year thus far. Earlier in the year, the vocalist of the group, Spooky Black, took the internet by storm with his amazing voice and weirdly retro music video that were shot on film, making it look like some type of a old school music video where the baby-faced white kid sang like a 90’s African American r&b singer and blew us all away. The vibes on his breakout hit “Without You” were eerie, beautiful, and confusing – which is why he blew up so quickly [aside from the fact that he was incredibly talented]. Fast forward a couple months and now thestand4rd comes into play; the foursome are all Minnesota natives who grew up together; spookyblack on the vocals, psymun on the production, and bobbyraps + allankingdom spit the verses, all together creating a unique style of hip-hop & r&b hybrid that will bring the feels for most of you listeners. They not only incorporate a huge 90’s r&b influence but the producer psymun also throws in some abstract electronic sound design that correlates with some producers who are also currently thriving, like Canadian production god Ryan Hemsworth. This album sounds like if Yung Lean’s group Sad Boys was actually talented on a vocal standpoint [SuicideYear is a phenomenal producer], check out their self titled project below and get familiar with thestand4rd before you’re late amongst the homies.