Meet Wesley Black, the Perth rapper finding his stride with OUTLAW!
The high-octane, high-energy new single comes with an official video clip, which strengthens Wesley Black's craft as an audio-visual one-to-watch.
We've been keeping a close eye on the next generation of Perth's hip-hop future for a while now, a scene that is seemingly growing on a near-weekly basis with new additions constantly pouring in. Wesley Black is amongst them, and while he isn't exactly a new addition (he's been an exciting force for a few years now), he's really found his stride in the last few year, whether that be as a solo musician, as a guest collaborator, or someone always inventing new ways to convey his energetic hip-hop sound onto the live stage, where he's become a bit of a favourite.
He's most definitely someone worth keeping a close eye on, and songs like OUTLAW! and Eleven - both released last year - are glimpses of his brilliance in its best form shown thus far, showing his craft as a mult-faceted emcee that can move between flavours and energies with ease.
OUTLAW! is the more energetic of the two, and one we've found ourselves constantly coming back to for a gee-up when we're needing some energy. It takes from a similar, experimental rap lane to that of Injury Reserve; dynamic in both production and lyricism as Wesley Black warps his quick-pacing vocals amongst shifting, hard-hitting production that really reach the pinnacle of experimental hip-hop energy - a lane that he's seemingly found a bit of a footing in.
"OUTLAW! is about having tunnel vision and drive to become the best I can possibly be," he said with the single's release last year. "As the precursor, I feel that Red established the hyper-aggressive and raging side of Wesley Black and goes in depth with my greatest desires; OUTLAW! is about the next step. If I live for long enough I will achieve everything I said I will. In Red, I said 'I might go blind if I live too long' but now in time, OUTLAW! suggests that if I live too long without success, I don't know the lengths I will go to next."
The single's recent-arriving video clip doubles down on that energy, enlisting Just Play Media for a really quite brilliant and modern film that adds to the journey of OUTLAW!, while solidifying Wesley Black's craft as someone that will give you a full experience with their work, rather than just big, energetic bangers with nothing else to them. "In dark times, I tend to doubt myself and my own potential, but sometimes this leads to me coming back stronger and better than ever," he says on the video clip.
"I felt my drive and motivation increase and I suddenly related really heavily to the powerful character in my short story. The villainous tea party scenes, the masked cowboy and the glowing red room were all visions I had for this short story, but as I began to relate harder, I redeveloped these ideas and worked them into a storyline for the Wesley Black persona."
It's one hell of a time that reinforces Wesley Black's status amongst the Perth hip-hop space, and you can take a dive into it below, as you introduce yourself to the rapper ahead of plenty more to come.
Tell us about yourself?
Wesley Black is a music and visual artist, originally a character I came up with for a short story, has now taken a world of his own in music.
What’s your music like? What does it sound like? What kind of themes does it usually cover?
My music covers a whole range, recently I’ve been focusing on originating my own “red-rap” style, which takes rap to a new aggressive and spacey dimension. My music sounds like rage, aggression and energy; hard conceptual storytelling lyrics accompanied by wavy 808s, Eastern World influence and electronic trap elements. My songs usually speak about emotions and visuals in my world, turned up to 100; using the Wesley Black character, I can recreate drama in my stories and turn them into music.
What are your production and writing processes usually like?
I usually watch a movie first, or sometimes I write fiction. I need visual stimulation to make music that I can be proud of, and oftentimes after watching an intense movie or writing something impactful, I’ll put that character, or visuals, or elements into my own real world situations and write from that.
Can you tell us a bit about this new single, OUTLAW!, and its video clip?
OUTLAW! is based off of another short story, where Wesley Black overcomes bad influences to become the one to rule them all - the alpha male, the outlaw. The song and track both tell this story, as it’s about breaking away from vices, influences and negativity (as seen in the music video through masked men) and even through every shortcut, I realise I can take my own route and achieve something higher. Outlaw is about being the best version of you, and being proud of yourself and your achievements.
What do you have planned for 2021?
So so much, honestly. I have goals to release the hardest songs, and also goals to release the most raw and vulnerable tracks. I want to take red-rap to the next level and bring a new level of energy, and I want to show people the man behind the mask, sing and rap about pain and hurt. That’s only in terms of music, but outside of that, I want to expand my own brand. More shows, more presence, more music and definitely my first line of merch.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
Understand your world. Spirituality and emotional impacts, and how they affect you. All my music reflects my emotions and my visions, and shows how I can turn a negative experience into a growth point. I hope my music helps people dealing with their own rage, passion and dark times.
Where can we find more of your music?
Everywhere. @wesleyblacktv on almost everything, Instagram, Facebook, and Wesley Black on Spotify. Definitely check YouTube too, some more cool stuff is headed there this year.