About a month ago I received an email with very little information other than a link to a Youtube video. It was Philly-based rapper Gonz doing a studio recording with The Burgeoning backing him up, and it sounded really good. I’d never heard of either, and I wasn’t really sure whether the person who sent me the link was working on behalf of the band or the rapper. Through some digging I found Gonz’s website and saw that he put out a new album called Winter Fever in May. I didn’t get a chance to check it out until now, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by what I’ve heard.
Maybe it’s just because I’d been listening to that new Eminem album and my ears were thanking me for a break from the discordant pounding MMLP2 delivers, but the music on Winter Fever just nestled itself in my ears. There’s a great quality to Gonz’s voice, too. He finds a sweet balance between the nice guy vocals of Drake and the hard-living brutality of one of my favorite rappers of all time, Scarface. The mix is put together well, with the vocals all out in front so you feel like he’s right there singing next to you.
A lot of the music comes from a late 80’s/early 90’s R&B influence, which I enjoy quite a bit. Growing up on stuff like Jodeci and New Edition gives the album a familiar feel, but Gonz and whoever produced Winter Fever have done a good job of making it feel contemporary. If you’re a fan of guys like Bruno Mars or Akon, I could totally see you being into Gonz.
If you like what you heard in the video above, go check out his website. You can listen to Winter Fever in its entirety there and then go pick it up on iTunes.