Moreno – The Real Dope

July 1, 2022 0

unnamed-2-500x500 Moreno – The Real Dope

One of the coolest things about being a music lover (that’s me) in 2022 is being able to use the ‘discovery’ feature on streaming platforms. For those of you old enough to remember what it was like, trying to find new artists in the ’90s, you likely appreciate how much better it’s gotten. And for those who don’t know, well, it was way more complicated than saying, “Hey Alexa, play a new rap playlist”.

And that’s exactly how I hit upon Moreno, when Spotify served up his single ‘AMG’, right after ‘One Night’ by Dro Montana. What caught my ear immediately was Moreno’s laidback, flowing style of delivery, reminiscent of Max B’s ‘Money Make Me Feel Better’, one of my all-time favorites. That got my attention.

In ‘AMG’, Moreno gives the old tale of love, money, sex and betrayal a twist that is as fresh as it is ambiguous, with his, “T’was nevah dem, ’coz it was always us”, leaving you wondering whom he means by “dem” – is it society with its seemingly uncrossable divides,  women with their prerogative of loving and leaving, rival gang members, or someone else entirely? With a skilfully varied rap tempo and a funky take on trap, Moreno’s aptly named ‘AMG’ is as customized as its namesake.

Hooked as I was on ‘AMG’, I dug around to see what else Moreno had dropped, and came up with ‘He Said She Said’. This darker track has a clear, Brooklynesque imprint of drill, with staccato rap segments that underscore the harsh spiral of life on the streets, as summed up in the pithy lyric, “You f*ck up the money, you f*ck all the rest”. While I personally preferred ‘AMG’, I found myself nodding to the hypnotic beat of ‘He Said She Said’, and wondering what else this artist had in store.

Best to hear it from the horse’s mouth, I decided, and began looking him up. A couple of emails and a few calls to musician friends put me directly in contact with Moreno. For my fellow rap lovers who’re as curious to hear more about this talented new artist on the block, here are some snippets from the phone conversation I had with the friendly and engaging Moreno, a rapster with real promise. The artist is denoted by ‘M’ in the excerpt below:

Q : What is your particular ‘sound sauce’? Tell us how you make your music distinctive and your sound unique.

M : I’d have to say the melodic quality of the ad libs which I use to complement the flow pattern of the rap – that’s what gives my music its smooth, street feel.

Q : Like most musicians, do you have artists that you feel have influenced you? Can you name an artist or a track that affected you deeply?

M : I’ve always been inspired by artists who were able to bring something new to the game, whose sound stood out from all the rest. My icons are some of the NYC greats  – Jadakiss, Chinx, Max B, Pop Smoke… him, naturally, since I’m from South Bronx… but others as well, Jay-Z, Tupac… RIP to the fallen.

Q : How would you describe your vision for your music? What do you see yourself contributing?

M : I think of my music as the soundtrack to people’s lives. When I compose my lyrics, I don’t think of them as rhymes… I think of them as the vibes of people living and interacting with each other. I want my music to feel like a breath of fresh air to my listeners, even if it means that musically, I’m a wildcard in the industry.

Q : I can see you already have several thousand listeners for both your tracks on Spotify, and the numbers are growing real fast… you’re already on many popular rap and hip-hop playlists – RapTag, Hip Hip Hop, Drop the Hip Hop, to name just a few. What made you confident of your tracks when you released them?

M : Well, first I must thank every one of my listeners for all the love they’ve been giving me… I wouldn’t be where I am today without the love and support of so many people. And that’s really the answer to your question, as well. So far, with each one of my songs, when I laid it down, when I went to studio sessions, I saw how everyone – collaborators, sound engineers, other people that were listening in – everybody liked my sound, liked my creativity, confirmed it was something new. That gave me confidence, made me feel I was ready to drop my tracks on the streaming platforms.

Q : What tracks do you currently have out? Is there anything new in the pipeline?

M : There’s ‘AMG’ and ‘He Said She Said’ that are out at present on Spotify and Apple. I also have a couple of new tracks I’ll be dropping soon. One is called ‘Nautica’, and this one’s got, bar for bar, a slicker, more street vibe to it. The other one’s named ‘Too Gone’, which my listeners are gonna love for its witty cadence, its wordplay.

Q : Which of your tracks is your best, in your opinion? Do you have a favorite?

M : I love them all, ’coz they’ve all come from deep inside… but my best is yet to come. I promise y’all, listeners, fans…  the best is yet to come!

Judging by the work Moreno’s already put out, I’d have to agree with the talented musician that his best is yet to come. Don’t make us wait too long, Moreno.

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