Smart bets web extra: Free Radio

Don’t mistake Free Radio with Free Planet Radio — those a two very different local bands. Free Planet Radio is world music; Free Radio is hip-hop. In fact, it’s the same hip-hop crew with a decade-long history in Asheville. You probably know them by their previous name, The Ville Boyz.

Aka, this year’s runner up in the best of WNC hip-hop category, as voted by Xpress readers.

Aka, the band who’s played sol-out shows at Christmas Jam and opened for Ice Cube at the Orange Peel.

Aka, the musicians who insist, via Facebook, “You ain’t gotta rap about all that predictable, generic ass garbage!” To prove that point, their frantic-yet-soulful track Apocalyptic Skies, with guitarist Jeremy Indelicato, contemplates the end of the human race. The bass of music is moody, smooth, ebbing and flowing under the acrobatic poetry that seems to leap and fly from the tongues of the vocalists. There’s also a brilliantly-places false ending and precise knitting of voices and rap styles, resulting in a dark tapestry of philosophy and beats that would be danceable if the subject matter wasn’t so thoughtfully phrased and contemplative.

Want to hear more from Free Radio? The band is set to release its first album (under its new name), The Powers That Be. That launch party is set for Saturday, June 2 at Emerald Lounge. 9 p.m., $10.

Photo by Carter Mitchell Jr., from the band’s Facebook page.

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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