Richmond’s Evan Barlow has released a wide-ranging and powerful new mixtape. “Fabrics” is the latest example of Evan’s evolving sound and personal growth. Is it rock? Is it hip-hop? “Fabrics” transcends traditional genres of music; It’s creative – it’s deep – and it’s good.
On first listen, as a true hip-hop head, I gravitated to “Crying Over Monday” and “It’s the World” ft. RVA’s Dr. Millionaire – getting fairly deep on the track – and Virginia Beach’s Intalek. Those tracks stand out with quality production and strong lyrical wordplay. If you want something harder “Fight” is the song for you; exploring a rock feel. If you want something more folk – borderline country, then listen to “Butter Toppin'”. The musical range and diversity on “Fabrics” is some of the best I’ve heard in 2016.
Evan’s message of resilience, recovery and triumph is the true foundation of the mixtape. The record doesn’t sugar-coat Evan’s personal story and struggles. In this day when too many hip-hop artists glorify drug use, “Fabrics” does not encourage the reckless use of drugs; no, as Hov would say – Evan did that so you hopefully you don’t have to go through that. This project talks the hard realities of drug abuse — just listen to “The Fix”.
It’s clear that music is Evan’s therapy. His assurance to stay on the right track. Evan does music to survive and to be free. “Fabrics” is Evan’s new fix. #WESEEIT