$avvy Crafts a Gem | ‘Boys Wear Pearls’ Glistens as a Debut
Evan Dale // Feb 18, 2021
The thing about the musical mosaic that is Nashville’s hip-hop and soul heavy underground is that it’s incredibly wide-ranging. If a Nashville style does exist that can accommodate the breadth of those scenes creeping from under the limelight floorboards of their anonymity, it’s one delineated by an approach prioritizing unique aesthetics and quality, established grips on the myriad directions of the city's artists and their music. Take for example, $avvy.
The young Nashville emcee doesn’t adhere to the sounds and styles of a scene that for all intents and purposes has no clear cut formula for their music. And that uniqueness and his music’s accompanying ubiquity of stylistic range in and of itself makes $avvy a textbook enigma of the hottest up-and-coming hip-hop scene of the moment.
For those who don’t know $avvy, consider your introduction the beginning of a relationship between you and the wavy, addicting experimentalist art he crafts. There’s no avoiding it once you start. $avvy’s music’s candid ability to highlight life’s highlights - the party, the kickback, the positive moments that require some fun-loving and memorable tunes - is undeniable. It’s also vibrantly different than any sort of pop-adjacent offerings the boxes of which radio hit hip-hop ticks with predictability and formulaic craftsmanship. Instead, $avvy’s unique brand of bouncy, punchline-laden effortlessness is no outcome of replication.
Appearing from seemingly nowhere last year with a maturity to his differentiating, artsy auditory aesthetic and a professionalism about the production, the videography, and the whispery, mellow ease with which he marks every rap, every note, and every visual adaptation, $avvy has been a name worth watching for his sound worth knowing since the very beginning. And at the beginning of 2021, he’s here with his debut collection.
Boys Wear Pearls feels in one fell swoop, like the perfect title released on the perfect date - Valentine’s Day. You see, something in $avvy’s sound and something in his style has always been spun of glitzy sheen merging with the messy heartthrob touch that made early 2000’s emo bands edgy sex symbols in their own right - and cuts arthouse SoundCloud rappers of a similar cloth today. The hard work he’s put into barely trying at all feels unendingly noticeable in each and every moment of the authentic Boys Wear Pearls texture. And that texture is just screaming of a readiness to steal one’s side piece if they don’t show up with enough roses on Valentine’s Day. Trust that if a man’s affection is short, $avvy and his music will be there to fill the void with Pearl-studded swagger.
Musically, he spans far too many established genres to be nailed down to any one or two. Instead, an atmospheric, oft-afloat, left-of-center, and humorous mosaic of hip-hop, soul, and pop’s infinite directionalism has for a year made $avvy, and makes Boys Wear Pearls, as shiny, smooth, and organic as the prized thing for which the project was named.
For those that like the experimentalist nature of Nashville’s rise, the poppy rap of the radio without any of its expectation, the fuck it attitude of the South, and the soulful effortlessness that the South’s wordsmiths often infuse into their music, Boys Wear Pearls is a fun and unendingly interesting 20 minutes that can at once soundtrack post-pandemic parties, and highlight Valentine’s Day and beyond for those special someones a listener chose to quarantine alongside. It’s that wide-ranging and that applicable across the spectrum.
But it’s more than a fun-loving art school take on a new, digital, and highly experimental hip-pop wave. It’s also an important adherence to creative vibrance for a Nashville scene that is never short of creativity, but certainly only has one $avvy. Denoted more by hard-nosed lyricists, Southern draws, soulstresses, and a changing of the guard from the pop trap and artsy radio hits of Atlanta and its subsequent influence, Nashville now has a more pop-driven, experiential transcendentalist weaving more nuance into the fastest growing small market hub anywhere in modern music. $avvy is the arthouse bedroom pop rapper from Nashville, by every indefinable note that description brings in tow.
Boys Wear Pearls is keystone for its uniqueness, its ubiquity, and for what its unendingly different sound means for more musical opportunity to come from so many Nashville artists. To be short, the project’s creative boundlessness is $avvy; a very unique and necessarily risk-taking debut.