Post To Be by Lord Byron. Artwork by Lord Byron.
Above is the lead single to Lord Byron’s upcoming project, We Kill Cowboys. But who is Lord Byron?
Lord Byron is an East Dallas artist that I have been following aimlessly since hearing his Dark Arts Vol. 2 project in 2012. In the form of an Alicia Keys sample, I feel like a spell has been cast and I have been stuck in this trance since the Intro to Vol.2. Byron’s progression from then to now has made me a more than loyal fan.
In 2016, I hit the road to Dallas to see the future GOAT live.
Byron’s set was unlike any other local rap artist’s performance. Byron’s set was performance art.
2012 was a different time. The Internet, world of art, and even society felt like it was in a much better state. Twitter made the world a whole lot smaller and everyone was excited about it. You were connecting with locals, folks across the states, overseas, and even celebrities. People were curious to hear other’s opinions/views as well as sharing their own. Fast forward to the present, we can’t even hold a decent conversation without insults. 2010-13 was a great era. I mentioned the art world because during that time the Internet wasn’t so oversaturated with artists. I have no problem with the boom but despite it, the work has been very lackluster. The originality and creativity is missing, thus everyone looks and sounds the same. This is crucial for legitimate local artists. The consumer has to surf through so much trash to find the gems. It’s not as easy as it once was to get a listen. Dropping a link today is like Jehovah’s witness at the door.
“I have no problem with the boom but despite it, the work has been very lackluster. The originality and creativity is missing, thus everyone looks and sounds the same.”
That’s where Byron shines.
Byron’s first video, and new music after Vol.2 initially dropped.
Byron’s evolution is a fascinating one. When I first heard him he was rapping over hypnotic–new era–boom bap tracks, complimenting it with a rhyme style similar to Earl, Nas and Jay Z. It’s funny because he once tweeted that Vol. 2 is better than Illmatic. And on his latest rap album, Digital Crucifixion, he boasts, “experts don’t compare me to Earl Sweatshirt, I’m not a Sweatshirt Ima mink.” Both bold statements but with solid reasoning behind them.
Since Vol.2, everything has gotten better. Artwork, song production and also Byron himself. Part of his brand success has to do with some of the amazing artists he’s worked with along the way. 5Star, Brrd, Lade (FKA Doughmars), Q1, Sam Crooke, Ben Hixon and Felix, just to name a few.
He is now supporting/supported by indie label, Dolfin Records. Based in Dallas, this is a team you should definitely keep your eye on.
Earlier I mentioned, Digital Crucifixion. Released in 2015, this is his latest rap offering. DigiCrux marked the end of the Vol.2 era and began a new one. Rapping over more experimental production, it is a perfect clash of sounds crashing for Byron to slice through with his marksmanship.
It’s dope because his music was already unique to begin with. I mean who could’ve guessed a Dallas native would draw comparisons to Nas and Jay Z? At the time I only knew them for songs like My Dougie and Stanky Leg. But here we are.
Byron is truly blessed with the artistry and creativity so many of us lack.
His progression has been a joy to witness as a fan. A lot of times I get bored with artists because they find a formula and sit comfy in that safe zone. Byron could’ve easily did this. He could’ve went the Vol.2 route but thankfully he didn’t. And if this was 2012, where the human mind was as curious as it once was, he might already be a legend. He really should be, and at this point only time will tell if he can break through to the other side.
It looks like we may be in for another change. With We Kill Cowboys on the way the music has become more “Southern.” No release date has surfaced but I cannot wait for it to arrive.
Here’s a link to an old interview of Byron I came across. Thank goodness I have Dark Arts Vol.1 in my archives. Unfortunately, it has been off his bandcamp for some time now. I have most of his older work except for his Pre-Mixtape Mixtape project. I admit that kind of hurts.
Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know what y’all think. Follow/tweet @wemajorwemajor, also.
I’m not a writer, I’m a fan.
–Jackie Tran, MJR