Uptown XO “The Color Grey” [mixtape]

Grey is not a color that gets much attention. But that’s not how Diamond District’s gritty lyricist Uptown XO sees it. For the DC spitter, grey represents the convergence of two worlds: dark and light. On the anticipated mixtape The Color Grey, XO continues to combine the street and the conscious in a way that’s honest and relevant to today.

The tape, almost entirely produced by AB The Pro, is sonically consistent. Wether a tune about bittersweet summer nights, the popular “Good Vibes,” or a gutter track examining the injustice of the modern prison system, the fantastic “Petey Greene,” the songs knock. The drums crack and the bass lines rumble. Lyrically XO shines, often taking the mood of the music and fleshing it out into a coherent and persuasive song. Few MC’s could so effortlessly spit lines so explicitly political and seconds later detail servin’ in a manner so precise, you know it’s from experience. Hood with a purpose, gutter but not nihilistic, Uptown XO complicates what ground an MC can cover.

Like its namesake, XO’s tape creates something new out of opposites. Fans who prefer thought-provoking music instead of tunes to tune out to, The Color Grey is where it’s at. This is just an appetizer. The full course meal, Colour De Grey, will be served later this winter on Mello Music Group.

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