Ethereal was one of the first artists I ever pitched to FADER, four years ago, off the strength of a blunted take on drum & bass he was working at the time. My pitch was rejected, but on some cosmic justice shit, now, after a period of uncertainty, the Atlanta producer and rapper has the growing profile he deserves and a home with the do-it-together mecca Awful Records. "When he says he's Ethereal, he's being dead-ass serious," labelmate Richposlim told us recently. "He tweets once every four days with a black power rant or some shit, and then he stops. He does it at his own pace."
Today, that pace picks up with the release of Blackli$t, his second project this fall. "I know Cactus Jack just came out like a month ago, but that's how Awful does it," Ethereal said over email. "I am sitting on so much good music it gets hard to keep it to yourself." Blackli$t was entirely produced by Ethereal in a raw, retro style that calls back to some of his rap tracks that caught my ear in the first place. "Ground" flips Womack & Womack, a la 8Ball & MJG; "World" opens with a Macho Man Randy Savage drop. I've gotta simmer the lyrics a bit to catch up, but obviously love this on "Ground," which you can watch a video for below: Some people people can't even see where I'm headed/ But all I know is being real and smoking super unleaded.