When thinking of Salt Lake City, Utah, I often think of edgier slivers of rock ‘n roll that have unfortunately faded into the depths of obscurity. Hip hop is certainly not the first thing that arrives in my mind when SLC is mentioned to me, even when people argue that there’s a great freestyle scene in that area, but I’m starting to view things differently after being exposed to Avery LR, the latest underground rapper gaining steam through the power of the internet.
Not unlike the candid ‘80s free-speech punks of the west coast, Avery LR (originally from Maryland) uses hip hop to generate music supplemented by honest lyrics. Avery’s past is filled with visiting family and friends in prisons. Bouncing around the world and having a very loving grandmother filled with soulful wisdom constantly kept Avery far and away from criminality. He saw a caring teacher in his grandmother, and when she passed, he was forced to survive encircled by offenders of law.
Avery, young, frustrated, and living as a teenager in SLC with his mother soon thereafter, channeled his disappointments via sound production and live performances, where disillusionment transformed into confidence.
Now an adult, Avery LR preaches against the horrors of man inflicted unto one another, describing why his family comes first and the importance of self-worth, hard work, and dedication. Some of his topics may turn you away, but I advise to absorb each word carefully. How else can we stop abuse, addiction, and self-harm? Those are the questions Avery demands answers for.
Avery LR released a twenty-seven song mixtape titled Surviving, on January 23rd, 2017. With more than two dozen tracks, there’s bound to be something listeners with latch onto. The mixtape’s entry, “Chiraq Intro,” lands an immediate punch by using unintimidated word play. Right off the bat, you know Avery LR has something to say and isn’t backing down.
“They Don’t Like That,” track four on the mixtape, is one of the most interesting of the bunch, being one of the few songs on Surviving that has a music video, at the time of this posting. The song appears politically divisive at times, with featured lyricist Inwood Dave slightly contradicting Avery’s earlier verse regarding civic lethargy. Avery allowing his collaborator a moment to lightly disagree with his own discontent reveals appreciable maturity in a time where every word is scrutinized. Inwood’s choice of words to describe his own anger with domestic realities don’t deter Avery from letting the song print. Like this website’s slogan, “Colorful language abounds.”
If you’re interested in the music video, let it be known that the quality of the video is unmatched by the well produced quality of the track itself. I don’t view it as a negative aspect of the song, as it’s purely meant to compliment the track. The low budget visuals add an ultra-endearing characteristic that any independent artist will relate to.
Looking for a lighter musical tone but still prefer intimate lyrics? Check out the “One Dream” music video below, which released on June 5th, 2017 and is also available on Avery LR’s recent mixtape, Surviving.
If you want to listen to Surviving, use the embedded player below or visit Soundcloud.