Introducing Lord Byron, The Latest Dallas Rapper To Watch.
Speaking with Byron Neal is a pleasure.
He's a young, respectful, soft-spoken gentleman who ends nearly every sentence he utters with either a “please” or a “thank you” or a “sir.” But this behavior, admirable as it may be, is exceptionally noteworthy after you've heard him spit a few bars from his new project as Lord Byron: Dark Arts Vol. 2.
As a rapper, Neal is a confident wordsmith who floats over track after track with the kind of flow one can only cultivate after studying the likes of an MF Doom or Jay Electronica. He sounds like Earl Sweatshirt, really, in both delivery and tone. For 16 tracks, the 21-year-old carries his new album without banal hooks, makes use of only one feature and simply offers up well-crafted bar after well-crafted bar.
The East Dallas native, who hasn't performed a single show and is admittedly not well-versed in Dallas hip-hop, recorded the album earlier this year in Denver, Colorado after the release of his first tape, Dark Arts, Vol.1.
With the help of two producers, the trio had a mission of pushing aside trap beats and offering something a little more refreshing. The production alone is worth a listen. The final product is a solid run of tracks that don't vary much, but are enticing enough to keep the listener around for Lord Byron's next round of bars. It's like this right from the start, with the aptly named “Intro (Vol 2),” which features the well-known sample of The Main Ingredient's “Let Me Prove My Love To You” as also used by Alicia Keys in “U Don't Know My Name.” On the track, the rapper alternates between introducing himself as “the God” (a far cry from Neal the gentleman) and offers up personal insights into life events that have shaped him and affected his passion for rap.
All told, Dark Arts Vol.2 is a strong offering — not bad for a rapper who's only been at it for two years, that's for sure. This is some heady stuff.