In terms of the Nashville music scene, Murfreesboro’s Classic Williams is an original. His aim has historically focused on a musical arm of rap that’s hardly “southern,” with his songs typically club and electronic inspired rather than street-flavored. If you’re keeping up with locals on Twitter, chances are you know Williams as an obnoxious and outspoken loudmouth, who never wavers in letting you know what’s on his mind (43,000 tweets should say it all). No matter if you can agree with him though — or even tolerate him at times — the man has yet to make disposable music for as long as I’ve been following him. For a quick history lesson, you’d do well to check out his Shake My Head mixtape or last year’s controversial release, The Soul of Nigger Charlie.
The new EP continues a polished electronic trend, but re(FLEX)tions still exhibits a freshness that distances it from Williams’ past work. The name itself represents both reflecting and flexing some lyrical muscle, but unlike Charlie, the MC says re(FLEX)tions “is more about my inner thoughts and feelings whereas the last project was more of a narrative story with characters.”
While the majority of the tracks maintain an upbeat pace, largely due to the superb production work from Nephew, Williams claims he was in “a very dark place” during the creation of the EP, with the most glaring contrast to the MC’s typical bravado coming with the contemplative tone of the set-closer “Answers.” “I just need some answers,” croons Williams, allowing the track to fade away, “Yeah, lord, I just need some answers.”
It’s going to be interesting to see if this new side to the MC sticks, be it in the forthcoming follow-up to The Soul of Nigger Charlie, or EPIC WIN, which Williams says is on its way next. In the meantime, stream the EP below, and if you like what you hear, head over to Bandcamp throw a few bucks his way.
[This article first appeared on Break on a Cloud.]