Wesley Johnson—AKA WesdaRuler—is an emerging face of independent Georgia hip-hop, one that is arising out of the bubbling and fertile Athens, Georgia underground. Though over the past few years he’s released a handful of digital beat tapes and assorted releases, on September 13th he will release Ocean Drive, his debut album proper, via HHBTM Records.
Ocean Drive is a very special kind of record. It’s laid-back, lackadaisical hip-hop with a beat poet’s deft touch, layered wonderfully on top of a mellow, mellow groove. When I first heard it a few months ago, I instantly fell in love with it, as it sounds both instantly familiar—especially if you like the hybrids of the 1990s from luminaries such as US3 and Guru’s Jazzmatazz. The first song that I fell in love with was “Loseit4tonite,” which we are pleased to share with you today. You can see why I fell in love—lyrical acumen, a hazy but intoxicating groove, a sound that sounds so familiar yet sounds so…new.
Listen closely, though, and underneath the hip-hop heart, you’ll find a jazz soul—one that is just as impressive, interesting, and compelling as WesdaRuler’s vocal prowess. Knowing this to be the case, HHBTM has opted to give those who preorder the album a special treat—an extremely limited edition instrumental-only cassette version of the album, one that spotlights the instrumental prowess and talent of Mr. Johnson. We invite you to listen to this exclusive-to-us extract from the tape, the instrumental version of “Loseit4tonite,” which you can only get here—and on the cassette. This cassette is only available with the preorder, and it’s going fast.
Don’t call Ocean Drive retro. It’s something entirely new. It’s a new sound from an exciting new face in underground music, and you’d be wise to snap it up now.
WesdaRuler’s Bandcamp: https://wesdaruler.bandcamp.com