Haunting the streets of Atlanta like a slasher movie villain, CEO Trayle excels at making bangers about things that go bump in the night. Returning with a batch of eerily atmospheric and silky smooth rap tunes, Trayle shares HH5, the latest in his signature series of Happy Halloween mixtapes. The new effort establishes Trayle as one of the slickest talkers in a stacked ATL scene, twirling his soft-spoken and erudite delivery like a cartoon villain twirls his mustache.
Creeping over instrumentals like Freddy Kreuger slips through subconsciouses, Trayle juxtaposes his sly wit with moments of pathos, toeing the line expertly on tape highlights like “We So Young” and “Took Some Time.” HH5 features some of Trayle’s most expansive production to date, with contributions from Dun Deal, OG Parker, Go Grizzly, Trauma Tone, and Trayle’s frequent collaborator Stribb, among many others. Home to standout singles like last week’s ultra-wavy “Chokehold” and the complicated relationship anthem “I Love You But…,” recently featured on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio, HH5 is available everywhere via Do What You Love/10K Projects.
Along with the tape, Trayle shares the new video for “Sincerely Yours,” the HH5 intro. Produced by Atlanta mainstay Yung Icey, “Sincerely Yours” rides a lumbering bassline, accented by unsettling woodwinds and ethereal synths that add to the horror movie atmosphere. The song is an ideal opener for the album, as Trayle eschews hooks in an unbroken verse, cutting a demonic figure as he asserts himself as the scariest of all things that go bump in the night: “Mop up blood and chop off legs and shins/Arms and fingers and hands,” Trayle rhymes with a macabre grin. In the video, Trayle follows in the footsteps of the titular anti-hero from Showtime serial killer drama Dexter, as he dons a plastic suit and gets to chopping. Directed by Decat, the new video is a perfect introduction to the macabre world of HH5.
HH5 is the crowning achievement in a busy year for CEO Trayle, arriving weeks after Vier, a four-track EP released in July alongside a Q&A with The FADER. Vier followed in the wake of Trayle’s 8-song mixtape The Collection, home to highlights like “Of Course,” the tape’s closing track. Trayle recently made a splash with his From The Block freestyle, where he performed his song “Song Cry,” which racked up over 300k views in less than one week.
CEO Trayle is following in the footsteps of his hero Gucci Mane, crafting street raps that are at once down-and-dirty and refined. The 28-year-old artist’s music found an audience, and earned praise among publications like Pitchfork, Audiomack, and many more, for his gritty bars and sinister steez. Trayle’s trajectory skyrocketed after he released “Ok Cool,” a viral hit that generated over 60 million streams and earned a remix from Gunna.
With HH5 in the books much further to rise, CEO Trayle is primed to take over the rap game.
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