Review & Interview: Warna Beats on his work with VZA

VZA is an underground rapper to keep an eye out for. Three of his projects (The Melanin Safehouse, The Childish One, and The Winter Gamez) are produced by Warna Beats and Riley Storms. The most recent of the three, The Winter Gamez, dropped in December 2020. The songs are head nodders, with chill flows over classic sounding beats. “Dnt Get Burnt” from The Winter Games is a great track to throw on and vibe out to. If you like Isaiah Rashad, early A$AP Rocky or Joey Bada$$, you might dig this too. Checkout The Winter Gamez:

VZA explores a range of topics (women, his friends, experiences with high school and money), and he always sounds at home on the beats. He’s also got depth. One moment he’s braggadocios, and in the next he’s exploring death. For a more introspective tale, checkout “God Speed.”

I spoke with producer Warna Beats about the releases. Here’s what he had to say:

“First of all we all live in completely different places around the world , Me and my brother (as Warna Beats) in the UK, Riley Storms in the US and VZA in the Bahamas. So we made everything remotely and just communicating through video calls and messages…. sometimes you come across specific people in life that have the same vibe as you and the chemistry that derives from it is pretty much flawless.”

“A lot of the topics that VZA touches are something that I personally could related to growing up in a lower social class and living in the poor neighbourhoods so all that was left for me and my brother was to translate those feelings and ideas we had in our minds into music. In general, we love boom bap over anything else and we tend to infuse [with] as much soul/gospel as possible and that’s what we tried to do in the projects. 9 times out of 10, all the beats we made pretty much perfectly fit what VZA was looking for and that 1 time he wants changes they are usually very few tweaks on the beat

“The quality of each other’s creativity kept and keep fuelling each other…for example VZA’s flows and bars inspire us to make better and better beats and the same applies to Riley’s Beats and vice versa—creating that healthy competition for the sake of good music.”

Hear more great underground hip-hop in our Songs page!


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