You’ve heard Steve Lacy, even if you haven’t heard OF Steve Lacy. For example, if you’ve heard track 7 of the best rap album of 2017 so far (“PRIDE” off Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN), you’ve heard Steve. If you’ve heard the critical darling, Odd Future castoff project The Internet, you’ve heard Steve. If you’ve heard “Only Girl” by Kali Uchis, with Vince Staples, you’ve heard Steve.

At the age of 18, his demo is making waves all over the place. It’s a short collection of perfect modern R&B songs. I say perfect because today’s R&B is not the soulful music of the 1960s that emphasized tremendous vocals. It’s not the lyrically sentimental music of the 1970s. And it’s certainly not the heavily produced new jack swing of the 1990s. Today, R&B has to touch upon hip hop (but lightly), swing though indie rock, play with varied rhythms… It has to be complex. And that’s what Lacy has done here.

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