I still remember taking a photo of HR after class, editing it on Microsoft Paint and together uploading his first release online – in the school cafeteria. This was in 2017 and he had just about started with his music career. The cover art was for his debut single, Changes. Living up to the title to his introductory single, HR The Messenger has experienced a lot of changes in the last three years. There’s been an LP, a weekly vlog, turnt up shows, notable production credits and features, even music awards.
With a mass of confidence, tight flow and Hip Hop rodomontade, HR The Messenger emerges as his best self, both musically and personally on his latest single, Growth. Stacked with driving grooves and well-modulated cadence, the Ongata Rongai rap star sets his agenda for 2020. With backing from fellow Black King rapper, Lord Arnold, Growth is a celebration of past wins and setting of future goals.
The first half of the song hinges on the listing of various achievements such as: “dreadi zimegrow”. HR reminds the listener that Black Kings keep the shows jumping. Now a recognizable figure in the streets, he corrects a fan about his accolades. Despite winning all three nominations at Unkut Hip Hop Awards, he only showcases two. The third one, Best Male Artist of the Year, is with his mum. An assurance that he has a future.
In the ultimate verse, Lord Arnold brings all the TDE Black Hippy vibes. With breaking rhymes, he connotes that you can’t define him. Previously, Lord Arnold has done short freestyle features on Messenger Friday vlog cast. On Growth, he delivers a clever, undeniable tight-packed verse. Effortless harmony of the two rappers is an indicator that the Black Kings are only getting started. As Lord Arnold says, you can bet on them as they will definitely win.
The story writing here takes everything about 2017’s Changes and makes it feel more complete and more accurate to HR’s current moment.