Channel Tres
Black Moses EP

Channel Tres is from that fertile valley of hip hop: South Central Los Angeles.  He takes off from the ubiquitous 90s G-Funk era, putting a better beat below it, blowing out the bass, and letting it bounce.  Channel Tres burst onto the scene in the cold winter of 2018 with a series of singles that made him look like an overnight sensation.  Not quite.  He had been DJing and working his ass off in LA, on the verge of a lucrative career as a touring EDM DJ when he sent out a blast of emails to various indie labels, and Godmode Records, an LA label devoted to some more creative output.   And so, our hero was saved from a career as a DJ, something he swears he didn’t want to do.

His eponymous début EP last year was, quite simply amazing.  Channel Tres mixes Detroit style hip-house with the aforementioned G-Funk, and the results are bouncy.  Apple Music insists this is dance music.  I hear hip hop first and foremost, and also some of that EDM.

Black Moses dropped last month.  It’s been on heavy rotation around here.  In a lot of ways, it echoes his eponymous début.  Like it, Black Moses is five-tracks long.  It also starts with a kind of dreamy track before Tres kicks in with his rhymes.  And then the bass comes marching in, before, eventually, a liquidy beat takes over, and then it fades.  And ‘Orphous (Intro)’ is over.  ‘Brilliant Nigga’ starts with Tresl reciting what is essentially poetry about perhaps missing his chance.  Then a flute flitters in and the beat kicks in and Tres drops a rhyme that is actually kind of reminiscent of the absolutely wicked rhymes Azelia Banks dropped on ‘212’ back in the day.  But here, instead of stuttering hip hop beat, we get a funky dance beat.

‘Black Moses’ starts off in a more traditionally hip hop style with a phat bass and Tres dropping another rhyme, recalling his rise to fame.  ‘Sexy Black Timberlake’ is, well, a sex song.  And then we end ‘Raw Power,’ where Tres riffs on Iggy Pop and the Stooges Raw Power (perhaps one of the greatest albums ever recorded).  Over a bouncing beat, Tres repeats the mantra ‘raw power’ and declaring that ‘Imma take my shirt off/just like Iggy.’