Respect The Neighbors • 24hrs
The clock doesn't stop. 24hrs is the latest hit maker on the come up from Atlanta, name referring to work ethic, perceived or real party schedule, self-described love life, perhaps all of the above. Dedicated to keeping a (semi) private persona, 24hrs may have difficulty avoiding the profile much longer. The singer and rapper has lit up Atlanta, the internet, and caught the attention of hip-hop's biggest names with a shiny, alien take on r&b. In less than a year he's skipped most of the ground floor and gone straight to a higher tier, where an artist isn't just new but polished and ready. His success is no puzzle, and while he's collaborating with some of rap's biggest names already, his music speaks for itself. His voice is sharper, song writing is cleaner, beats smoother, and he just won't stop releasing heat.
To be more specific, he's got three projects in less than a year, hit, hit, hit. In the age of the single, who says the album is dead? 24hrs does not have time for filler, no quantity - quality tradeoff here. There's the self-titled 24hrs from December, the Open EP this spring, and as of one week ago, 24hrs' 12:AM project. The music is born out the night, neon beats and Twenty's vocals hanging like streetlights. 24hrs is undoubtedly creating music with the Atlanta sound, but much like Young Thug and others like him, it's uniquely and clearly his. If Twenty gets played, you'll know what time it is almost immediately. His voice sounds electronic, a stripped wire sparking in the shadows of nightlife. Slightly chipmunkish, but cool as hell, which I don't understand either. The production, often from Apex, utilizes space like it's darkness, swallowing everything except the movement of beat and vocals dancing around the track's periphery.
Let's get into 24hrs identity briefly, because in a way, it ties into his music. Some quick Googling and a trip down the Youtube comment rabbit hole yields the common but unconfirmed theory that 24hrs is the new face of Royce Rizzy, MadeInTYO's brother. Social media shows a connection between the two artists, and MadeinTYO has done a notable amount of events with Twenty. I buy it. Given the context of a young artist wanting to make a name for himself on his own, the decision makes perfect sense. From a marketing standpoint it works too - who doesn't like a mystery? But the really interesting aspect about this choice is circling the question of artistic motivation.
If you listen to 24hrs, the product, the message being sold, is that Twenty, unequivocally, is the man. Nothing unconventional about that, except the fact that we don't actually know who the man is. Social media and PR is always a mirage, but with Twenty there's a void, no footage in an age of video and image, to show you why. We're limited to the gift that is his music, and I choose to see it like this; Twenty is a blank slate, and when you flip on one of his new projects, the lack of history or context means he could be anyone, even you. Who doesn't want to count money in a monster truck? Avoiding the extraneous details of his life make this mirroring of listener and artist realer and more convincing. All that's left is the music, a dive into Atlanta escapism.