Virgil Hawkins – Milly Rocking To The Wrong Things

22 year old French born and London raised rapper Virgil Hawkins has spent the last 5 years developing his abstract sound, releasing immersive head nodders such as ‘Zathura‘ on SoundCloud and promoting them heavily on the socials. His sound is an amalgamation of the likes of Dev Hynes, Travis Scott and Childish Gambino, but at the same time that London sauce sits atop the gumbo, giving it an appetising style which is easy to vibe to. His build up which includes two mixtapes has given him a nice foundation to set 2018 alight, and independent label Reservoir Records have lit the fuse, helping the rapper put together his first commercial release, Milly Rocking To The Wrong Things.

This project will have you milly rocking in your yard, but Virgil Hawkins commences the dance slowly with album opener ‘Deucalion’, an atmospheric, auto-tuned ode to love, where he laments over an ex, crooning about what could have been. Then comes ‘Say (version 2)’, an uplifting trap ballad which includes dreamy harp synths and an ethereal melody, layered underneath his emo bars regarding giving love your best shot, but it not being good enough.

The sharp shift finally comes with the appropriately named ‘Switch (feat. Cwby)’, a trap banger designed to make the listener wile out without a care in the world. Backed by a futuristic trumpet-laden beat, Virgil and Cwby trade bars about flexing and finessing, stomping and skating their way through the production. Virgil keeps up the pure energy via Xan, a song reminiscent of Rich The Kid’s ‘Plug’ with its Nintendo inspired, 8-bit bounce giving his raps about daydreaming “about these bands” and “being the man” a whimsical quality. This track is a get-up and go cut that’ll induce you to dougie profusely in front of your mirror.

After all the dancing, we need a break and ‘Reboot/ Radio (Interlude)’ is the reset that is well and truly needed. Chopped and screwed, the interlude sounds like it was transported to us from the 90’s Houston hip hop scene. I’ve never had purple drank before, but the song’s intoxicating nature makes me feel as if I’ve had a pint. Virgil continues the euphoric vibes with ‘Cairo’, in which he fuses an enchanting melody with intriguing and emotionally-charged lyricism, telling a story of lust, love and loss.

‘Une Danse (feat. KISH!)’is my personal favourite from the tape and another curveball. The beat utilises sweet sounding harp acoustics, over trippy hi-hats and an oriental themed backdrop while Virgil incorporates elements of of his French-Ivorian upbringing, switching effortlessly between English and French. KISH! goes in on this one cutting through the beat like a knife through butter, with my standout bar from him being “please don’t come across, niggas might mix like DJ Target, eh!”

‘Bourne (feat. Sha Rez)’ is a cloud rap oeuvre, concerning the one that got away which uses the pain as fuel to help drive that getaway car to the bag. ‘Tatiana’ (feat. Yxng Jynn) is like the B side to ‘Bourne’- featuring a more menacing and dystopian trappy instrumental, and last track, ‘Demons’, is a dreamlike thumper produced by Yxng Jynn. It’s an audio representation of when Virgil came to a fork in the road and took the narrow and thorny path of music, in hope of finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Despite the demons that come for him on this path, in the end “darkness always comes to light”.

Virgil Hawkins tells Warm & Easy: “Milly Rocking To The Wrong Things was a tape-worthy way of phrasing my happy go lucky lifestyle and is a reflection on the past year of my life, serving as sort of a sequel to my EP, Zathura. With this tape I tried to pick apart specific situations that were most significant in that time. I associate every song with a moment which made me do one thing differently, until I reached the place I’m at now. I had to go through certain thing to eventually find my focus, but I think this was the best way to let people know exactly who I am as an artist.”

Written by /
Published /
April 9
Category /
Album Review