Opposites come together for a harmonious result on the first collab album between classical music composer, Michael Vincent Waller (MVW) and multi-platinum hip-hop producer, Lex Luger. Together, the duo combine to release a one-of-a-kind project. The 8-song LP sees them explore a sub-genre that has yet to be saturated and could possibly be the foundation for a brand-new wave of innovation.
The combination of course is the fusion between elements of classical and trap music where the former, which is considered formal, traditional and tedious, meets the laid-back, seemingly careless and braggadocious sub-genre of trap music.
I want to take the same attention to detail associated with classical and chamber music and apply it to one of the most viable, listenable, and casual genres, i.e. trap. It’s got freshness and energy, but there are a whole bunch of nuances and details you don’t typically hear in modern rap. I’m trying to take the best of both worlds.
Hailing from Staten Island, MVW has always been a hip-hop enthusiast and he developed a passion for classic hip-hop such as Wu Tang Clan, The Notorious B.I.G. and A Tribe Called Quest. As a classical composer, his music filled venues such as Carnegie Hall, ISSUE Project Room, Rouleee and Palais de Tokyo Museum. At the same time, he often listened to Biggie and Wu Tang for inspiration while composing.
When he began making his foray into the world of hip hop, he recruited Lex Luger to play his counterpart. Although the “Round Of Applause” producer is diversified in his own right, his production still contains trap elements (such as his distinctive snare drum and ihats) that make his presence on CLASSIC$ invaluable.
Working on this project was definitely a little challenging. Being in a comfortable zone is cool, but nothing ever grows there. That being said, working on this project helped me try new things and ultimately, I feel like it just made me a better producer.
The album is curated with artists that not only correspond with the suis generis blend of styles but thrive on it. Jamaican artist, Shanique Marie, brings much-needed energy. Southern Songstress, Jaydonclover — whom MVW discovered from a WIRE Magazine review — is featured on three of the tracks and since the classical instrumentation already perpetuates a solemn feel, her soulful croons become one with the music. Trap connoisseurs Duke Deuce and Lil Gotit also make appearances, while Good Music artist, Valee — who is featured throughout the album — is the missing link that connects everything, effortlessly riding each beat as he maintains the California cool of a long beach surfer with each luxurious idiom he drops.
I’ve been composing for 15 years, but I’ve been listening to hip-hop for 20 years. Somehow, they inform each other in my head. This project was a long-time brewing. I’m coming full circle
CLASSIC$ can be streamed here.