Album Stream: $NOT “Ethereal”

With creative direction by A$AP Rocky’s AWGE, $NOT described Ethereal to GQ as his “808s album.” $NOT is exploring untapped corners of hip hop (for him), from boom-bap headnodders “How U Feel” ft. Joey Bada$$ and “Halle Berry” ft. Juicy J to dreamy ballads “BLUE MOON” ft. Teddi Jones and “My World” to rage-tastic bangers “Alone” ft. Trippie Redd and “Euphoric.” I’m currently obsessed with the Bon Iver-esque production on “high IQ” into the emotional album closer “Once Upon A Time (Outro).” It’s the perfect slow fade out of the album, I could listen to “Once Upon A Time” 18x in a row and not be fazed. $NOT pushed himself musically with Ethereal and it’s paying off.

The word ethereal, by definition, means, “extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world.” Now, Ethereal can’t be described wholly as “delicate” or “light.” For every somber moment there is an outright banger to follow – cue “My World” into “Doja” ft. A$AP Rocky (2.6M Youtube views, 5.6M Spotify). Throughout Ethereal, $NOT continues to fight his inner demons and feelings of imperfection, but there’s an obvious sense of maturity in his approach to songwriting. Even on his angstiest tracks, lyricism is key, as $NOT matches every stone cold flex with a reminder of self-doubt. Sonically, $NOT creates a universe that is entirely his own with Ethereal – from soul-searching ballads to boom-bap workouts to synth heavy ragersAided by creative direction from AWGE, $NOT indulges in his most adventurous artistic ideas on this album, trying his hand at every style under the sun and inviting Juicy J, A$AP Rocky, Trippie Redd, Kevin Abstract, Joey Bada$$ and newcomer Teddi Jones into his world. 

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