As the home of country music, Nashville isn’t really known for underground rap music. However in recent years, Music City has seen massive growth in its emerging hip hop scene.
One of the latest up-and-coming rappers from Nashville is experimental rapper Bleaux (pronounced “blow”), the persona created by Nashville native Elijah Buras — a punk outcast who refuses to be boxed in a specific category of hip hop. ‘Bleaux’ is half alter ego, half internal lived experience that Buras feels he can’t share with anyone in a regular setting. The result is a culmination of lyrics that serve no deeper meaning than to sound cutting-edge and badass. Bleaux says he “doesn’t specifically condone violence”, but he wants to “create something people could jump through a wall to”. He wants to create a sound to release all the pent-up aggression that’s been bottled up throughout the day — a sound that explores the darker sides of reality.
Bleaux’s musical inspirations range from dream pop band Beach House, to various underground rappers in the East Coast rap scene, including Freddy Dread and 3 6 Mafia. His biggest inspiration is industrial hip hop group Death Grips, something that’s pretty obvious when listening to his music. The rap duo incorporates experimental production techniques to create loud and jolting rap verses, something that Bleaux replicates in his music.
In his latest single, “Heavy”, Bleaux blends distorted synths with heavy 808s to create an industrial vortex of a track. The panning of sounds between left and right speakers create a whirlwind-effect inside your brain, and the angst of Bleaux’s bars electrify the mix. The combination of sounds are like that of fellow experimental rappers before him like Playboi Carti, JPEGMAFIA, or Danny Brown.
The genesis of creating “Heavy” was as bare-bones as Bleaux hearing a bass line and deciding he wanted to do something like it. Next in the creative process is tedious hours of making music in between odd jobs — sometimes for up to ten hours at a time. Although the creative process is long, the final product is rewarding.
Bleaux is excited to announce that his next album, Grasshopper, is set to release May 21st. The album will be packed with ambitious songs like “Heavy” and more punk, industrial hip hop songs — perfect for jumping through a wall.