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Abyss: From Now On

A Refreshing Departure -- Released on 3sixty5records

Abyss is being touted as the "next big thing" from the Bay Area's indie hip hop scene. Upon listening to the first few tracks from Abyss's debut, <i>From Now On</i>, it is clear that while Abyss's sound may not be a radical departure from that of many of his peers, his lyrics are a refreshing departure.

Far from boasting about the glamorous, bling bling, gangsta lifestyle replete with "hos", "bitches", and other less savory activities, Abyss chooses to focus on more positive and inspiring messages in his rhymes.

In "It's a Great Thing", Abyss espouses the virtues of having a faithful, loving woman by your side. In "If I Wasn't", Abyss ardently expresses his desire to "change the game" and break away from the thug inspired commercial hits and stay true to the art of hip hop. This is a far cry from the misogynistic, violence inspired lyrics that many of Abyss's peers and rivals manufacture.

This inspired lyricism is perhaps even more remarkable given Abyss's tough beginnings in the ghettos of Richmond, CA. Abyss is clearly making an effort to reach the young urban culture with a message that is injected with positivity and the possibility of alternatives to the hard knock life.

While <i>From Now On</i> contains a plethora of catchy hooks and beats, many of the tracks sound similar and at times it's hard to distinguish one track from the next. The real standouts on From Now On are the aforementioned, "If I Wasn't", "It's a Great Thing", and "Miles of Motivation".

<i>From Now On</i> isn't a perfect album, but it contains enough solid tracks to make it worthy of at least a few listens and contains some truly inspired lyrics. Abyss's debut is a solid effort and a portent of things to come.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars