‘Zoe’ is the latest release from Oakland based artist Genra, mixing modern beats with soulful rap, to create a homage to old school hip-hop.
‘Zoe’s’ sound references hip-hop’s traditional roots; within its first few seconds Genra and producer Classy Beats echo Oakland collectives likes Souls of Mischief and their use of horns appear like an ode to A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders.
After the introduction of jazz trumpets the song comes to life with a melodic bassline, ambient chord sequences and catchy rhythms. Meanwhile, Genra switches between rapping and smooth vocals. The song is filled with musicality, strong beats and is finished off with jazz rhythms. Yet, none of Genra’s hip-hop allusions can be seen as a rip-off, instead he is able to reinvent the genre in his own way, by fusing the old with the new.
Regarding his music Genra once stated ‘ultimately I just want to be heard’ and ‘Zoe’ is a song worthy of being heard by all hip-hop aficionados.