As of now, Isaiah Joseph, who records under the name Anonymuz, lives up to his chosen moniker. Though his projects have been gaining popularity as of late, the mainstream rap community has continued to overlook his unmatched talent. His newest project, a brief but sonically substantial EP Before the Night is Over, may be his greatest attempt yet at breaking the mould. Self-produced, Before the Night is Over is a remarkable achievement given the disparate styles on display.
The opening track, “Long Night”, feels like a response to the distinct Drake-like flow and production style that popular radio has come to love, with added vividness and weight. This kind of evocative evolution becomes a theme of the EP: Many of the songs build upon the production of his inspirations to create a unique sound. “Hysteria” features some bass work that is unmistakably Pablo-era Kanye, but Anonymuz’s vocals combined with the uniquely aggressive percussion makes the track unmistakably his own.
One of the EP’s primary themes is the creative plight that often comes with being signed to major labels, a part of the music industry that Anonymuz has gone out of his way to avoid. The artist has even gone so far as to start his own label, RXDICAL RECORDS. The final track, “Riot”, condemns these labels, singling them out: “Con artists, con artists, out of art, out of heart.”
Where Anonymuz smashes it out of the park is with his biggest stylistic change-up yet, “We’ll Be In Love.” The song features an intoxicatingly funky beat and some surprisingly smooth vocals from Anonymuz himself, along with verses that feature a new, strikingly diverse flow.
Anonymuz has outdone himself this time, but that comes as no surprise. He continues to be a wildly underrated and highly important voice in the world of rap, and his recent forays into production puts him in conversation with the likes of rapper and producer legend J Cole.