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Earlier this month, experimental Houston artist HVN (pronounced “heaven”) made a splash among certain influential circles online with the release of his edgy, surrealist visual for “MARINE” - the early standout off his new project, ‘ALL GIRLS GO TO HEAVEN’.
“MARINE” is the perfect introduction to the boundary-pushing style of HVN - who’s definitely one to watch when it comes to the alternative, electronic-based, Soundcloud-type hip hop artists currently on the rise. “MARINE” is instantly catchy, built around dramatic, synth-based production and a bouncy, borderline-hypnotic hook that’s immediately compelling.
The real magic of “MARINE” lies in its experimental, mind-bending visual (directed by Noah Dillon) consisting of equal parts Wes Anderson, Quentin Tarantino, and a Soundcloud rapper’s fever dream. The visual perfectly encapsulates HVN’s edgy style and raw creativity, consisting of a series of completely surreal, at times confusing scenes - with the common themes being grainy Super 8 footage, bold fashion choices, scantily clad European-looking models, and “cool hip-hop stuff” like gold fronts and money spreads - all taking place in a department store parking lot mind you. The result is magnetic chaos that you can’t look away from - achieving a level of authentic, dark abstract edginess that your typical Playboi Carti copycat could only dream of.
HVN has quietly been building a buzz ever since dropping his debut project last year, ‘Welcome to Heaven’ - with the standout track “Backhand” and features from Broadday, BBY Kodie, and YGR - where he first debuted his vibey, electronic based style that immediately felt more tightly produced and polished than the more lo-fi production you usually hear in this lane. So much so that you might call his style elevated Soundcloud rap (meant as a compliment of the highest order). From there he dropped the singles “Demons” and “Draco” - two exemplary tracks that up until now have served as the staples of his catalog, both racking up over 1M streams on Soundcloud. In 2021, it’s been nothing but progress and big looks - from being featured in Rolling Stone’s July 2021 profile of the Houston hip hop scene, to appearing as a featured model in Heron Preston’s Calvin Klein collaboration, to being featured on Don Toliver’s #1 Album on “Smoke” alongside SoFaygo (another emerging young legend in the “elevated Soundcloud” lane). All leading up to the release of ‘ALL GIRLS GO TO HEAVEN’ this month - which has already caught the eyes of tastemakers like Lil Yachty, Virgil Abloh, and Coi Leray.
HVN is a unique, talented artist who has overcome adversity and illness to create his vision. Suffering from sickle cell anemia, illness has always played a role in his creativity - first committing to a musical path (and his artist name) after a near death experience and even connecting with some of his closest friends and collaborators during stays in the hospital.
HVN’s distinct brand of tightly executed Soundcloud rap, his unique artistic vision, and his wild edgy style all come together to create a hugely compelling package - and one to watch moving forward.
Check out the video for “MARINE” below - and be sure to check out the rest of HVN’s ‘ALL GIRLS GO TO HEAVEN’ released earlier this month.