As Pyramid Vitra, Baton Rouge native Hal Williams was a founding member of Odd Future, rapping over Matt Martians’ beats in the group the Jet Age Of Tomorrow. He’s always been a prolific force outside those confines too, particularly of late: four solo albums since 2017, plus another under his Red Bag persona and yet another as Wilma Vritra, his partnership with London producer Wilma Archer. Now he’s just going by Vritra, and he has still another album dropping in a month. The lead single is fire.
Vritra’s new album Sonar was produced entirely by LA beat scene mainstay Leon Sylvers IV, the son of singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Leon Sylvers III. Lead single “What’s That” is a quick burst of dreamy, richly soulful Southern rap that makes me imagine Curren$y rapping over the beat from Rich Boy’s “Throw Some D’s.” Here’s what Vritra said about the new project:
For me this was one of the most fun to execute. Most of my self-produced music falls closer to the experimental spectrum, but I feel like I’ve never focused on a solid “rap” album. This is that. I feel like fans of my music wanted that. Leon has been one of my favorite producers for a long time. With him taking control of the production it freed me to focus on flow, style, and rhythm pockets. The name Sonar is fitting as well. Makes me think of beams. What made rap interesting to me in the first place was style. This is me beaming that style and putting it on the radar.
Enkrypt Los Angeles directed the “What’s That” video, which you can watch below.
02 “What’s That”
04 “Closer To God”
06 “Ma, Stop”
10 “Air Raid”
12 “Boarding Pass”
Sonar is out 9/4 on Bad Taste Records. Pre-order it here.