Enigmatic East Atlanta artist Raury surprised fans this weekend with a new unconventional 22-track project. Posted on his Soundcloud seemingly out of the blue, the 21-year-old musician transcends genres, mixing in reggae influences with ambient acoustics in what feels like a return to creative freedom and expression. This free spirited move of artistic expression comes at a major turning point for Raury, as he recently left his deal with Columbia Records. He was clear about his decision to split with the label, tweeting, “Industry play too many games gonna just wing it, follow my heart and do it my way.”
Raury takes full advantage of his freedom from music industry barriers on this project, and it’s befitting that he’s set his new creative direction in the heart of mother nature. While every track exudes a sense of relaxation and calm, Raury also juxtaposes these feelings with bars and flows that feel more suited for Atlanta trap production. On “Accidents”, he delivers lines like “I push the dope shit out to your community” and deems himself an “East Atlanta prince” over lush, live instrumentation. Moments like these emphasize Raury’s knack for the unexpected and are what make this project worth a closer listen. Check out a few highlights from Raury’s “Welcome To The Woods” below, and peep the rest of the project on his Soundcloud here.