Topshelf Records is excited to share the latest addition to the family with the release of Alfred.'s Like You!!, out today in collaboration with Citrus City Records.
Like You!! is the deeply multifaceted debut album by Richmond, VA's Alfred. Its warbly bell tones, expertly chopped melodic samples, and slow-mo hip-hop grooves form the instrumental base for the "darkgospel" singer/rapper Aaron Brown.
While Like You!! only clocks in at eight total tracks, its various producers and guest collaborators lend a striking sonic diversity to the overall work. Jazzy yet supple Dilla-reminiscent cuts such as "Tales of a Queer Rapscallion" contrast starkly with those like "GAMES," where Alfred.'s signature darkgospel stylings shine through most expressly. The record's wide spectrum is further emboldened by the substance of Brown's lyricism and personal convictions, taking cues from their genuine curiosity with the world around them, and blending that with their grief, hurt, hopes, and joys.
Ultimately, Alfred. strives to maintain their fondness of personal connection, symbolized in their favorite line of the album, taken from the song "Like You! (Yes, You)": "My hobby is functioning with my posse and I know that I get weird and loud but somewhere deep, deep down I was just tryna be like you."
"I wrote this for everyone and anyone that I've ever got to love, hold and admire from a far. For people who misperceive and for those I misperceive, for the honor of my family and wound in my sides that are my blood ties. I send love to all of you in some tiny way every time I rhyme. Lovers, friends, teacher, haters, strangers, acquaintances, enemies, oppressors all alike some way some how I'm thinking about you. I want peace and do not know how to attain it for even myself, and some days all I have is my song. Dramatic and long winded but I mean it."
art by Aaron Brown