Neva Look Back is Raw & ExperimentalBari's Second Project of 2019,
Evan Dale // Dec 23, 2019
The Midwest is – at the hands of entities like the Zero Fatigue crew and solo artists like Tobi Lou and Femdot from Chicago – taking over hip-hop’s most experimentally driven lanes. The Smino, Ravyn Lenae & Monte Booker directed collective in particular have flipped expectation on its head when it comes to cadence, vocal delivery, poeticism, and flow. And as they continue to push forward with their particularly unique star power, a further barrage of artists are quietly pushing boundaries of their own. If there’s anyone not only in the Midwest, but across hip-hop at large who has had the most quietly powerful year, Bari is making a tremendous case. His debut album, MSTRGLSS is a masterclass on hip-hop experimentalism, cadence play, and one-of-a-kind delivery through and through. Bari attacks each and every track with an aesthetic driven by an effort to stand out without making it seem like any effort is being put forward at all. MSTRGLSS is a refined, clean, formula-driven project the likes of which plays its part as a proper introduction to the kind of hip-hop artist that no listener has really heard before. And ten months later, he’s ending 2019 and subsequently the decade with another full-length exhibition. But this time, it’s a display of his rawest nuances and grimiest South-side influence.
Neva Look Back is more than a subtle joke about the project’s timing closing out the 2010’s, it’s a brash statement about the state of ignorant, hyphy hip-hop as we move forward into 2020. Bass blurs the lines between each track, laying a foundation for Bari’s playful cadence to bounce across the entirety of the half-hour long playbill. Complete bangers like Pablo Juan lead into hyphy-still anthems of a lesser slap like In The Mix and Call Her Bae. And when it’s all said and done, Neva Look Back is the kind of lyrically understated, addicting high-energy hip-hop delivery that rounds out a young artist’s canon and brings balance to an all-too clean and refined modern scene at large.
Watch out for Bari in the next decade: an artist who has proven he knows no boundaries in terms of refined albums and grimy mixtapes.