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Erick the Architect Solidifies His Career Shift with “Parkour”

An Artist Well-Tested and Experienced

Erick the Architect originally made a name for himself as a part of Flatbush Zombies- a name that carries a lot of weight for those growing up at the height of the “Beast Coast” movement. For the uninitiated, that NYC youth movement was consisted of them, the Underachievers and by some accounts, Joey Bada$$ & Pro Era. [Those three groups would come together to officially cement their collective legacy with 2018’s Escape from New York.]

However, things have shifted since their mid-2010s heyday. Though they’re still officially active, each member has begun to pursue their own endeavors. Meechy Darko released his solo debut, Gothic Luxury in the middle of last year. Zombie Juice released his Love Without Conditions even more recently in April. Now, Erick the Architect, once somewhat obscured behind the boards is stepping into the spotlight.

The Beginnings of Erick’s Solo Career on “Parkour”

Titled “Parkour,” Erick’s performance certainly lives up to the title. His vocals are airy and acrobatic, dancing between flows and octaves, with weighty bars right along with it. Towards the start of the song, we get a quick two lines that demonstrate his wit and knack for imagery. “Had to relocate, had to change my attitude / I play this Coltrane, I don’t need your battered blues.” Drums build through the verse before we get to the manic, hushed chorus of “Parkour.” And that hook section is what will probably ring most familiar for fans of FBZ. First in its messaging- where the rapper addresses ideas of paranoia, truth and isolation. But more, the falsetto effect it comes with lends a psychedelic atmosphere that the group has always majored in.

The cover art from Parkour, laid over a still from its accompanying visualizer.

With each progressive Zombies project, Erick steadily increased the number of verses he contributed. So his sudden turn rapper may not be all that sudden to long-time devotees. But his step away from production on this single is brand new. In his place is James Blake, R&B singer and hip-hop feature du jour in the past few years. The strings that carry most of Parkour’s runtime are a perfect match for the rapper’s overall attitude on it. At the same time, the cowbells and horns that come in during the emotional climaxes show why Blake is such a hot commodity. Once someone who only dipped his toes into rap, he’s clearly learned a ton from the experience, and now stands as a bonafide A-list producer in his own right.

Certainly, Erick the Architect is hoping for similar success in his crossover from producer to on-mic talent. And given how he’s delivered on Parkour and previous releases like Self-Made, it seems like a safe bet.

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