And now I’m here, right now, in your headphones. Listen up, listen up, listen up—three times.
This final line in “Dog Time,” the opening track on Austin producer/bedroom hip-hop head Hang Tight‘s debut EP, is crucial. You’ll have likely spent the previous four minutes wondering who this guy is, whether he’s completely winging it or if he’s a casual craftsman in disguise.
So many elements of “Dog Time” are overbaked, or underdone, or pushed to their very limit. The guy behind the music has a voice that’s shaky, can barely carry a note beyond a couple of seconds without faltering. So why is it all so perfect?
Anyone who disses lo-fi production or bedroom producers needs to listen to Hang Tight. Rough edges are charming. Imperfections are something to get lost in. You see yourself in the excitability of this EP, likely the product of someone who’s grown up obsessing over hip-hop, needing an outlet of his own. He’s gone gung-ho, put the rulebook aside, and is running with it headfirst into whichever godless place he happens to land in. It’s braver than bucking up and forking out a thousand of your finest for a couple of days’ studio time with a local producer. It takes more courage to simply go for it, and project these untouched, spur-of-the-moment thoughts for all to hear.
Besides, that last line gives the impression he’s pleased with the results. And so he ought to be. Circuiting bleep-heavy loops and terse trap drums, he name-checks Jake Gyllenhaal, tells a witness he’ll “unravel ya,” gaining momentum as he progresses. It all amounts to that final “listen up, listen up, listen up” call. The guy knows he’s hit the jackpot.
Hang Tight’s self-titled EP is available for free via his Bandcamp page.