Although this isn’t that new of a release, its the latest release from independent artist Alan Z. Alan was recently featured in our 5 Asian-American Artist That Can Change the Game article. So we decided to prove why he made the list. His most recent EP, First Time’s the Charm, practically makes the case for us. It doesn’t matter whether you gravitate towards hip-hop or ballads, Alan delivers flawlessly.
Settling the Score
It’s apparent that Alan’s got a score to settle with some folks. It’s a long time coming since often times Asian-American rappers are criticized because they don’t fit the “image” of a rapper. Alan’s authenticity is evident in the no holds barred rap, ‘No Hand Outs’, where he slays all doubters about the realness of his grind. He takes no prisoners of those pushing the “K-pop famous” narrative and instead stands his ground as an independent artist free from the restraints of commercialized rap. His flow is lethal, proving he is far from a commodity. On the real, this song could be an anthem for Asian hip-hop artists that are tired of being placed in a K-pop box.
Alan continues to call out haters in ‘Discriminated’. He is ruthless yet smooth as he blocks the negative attitudes and opinions of people that say that he can’t or shouldn’t rap just because of his race. This this the perfect time in history for a song like this to drop. ‘Discriminated’ is basically Alan’s rap autobiography, but I am sure that there are countless others out there that can relate to what he says. He makes it clear that he is not here for play-play. No games, no bull. He earned his place and he is here to stay.
For the Ladies
Of course, the R&B prince has something for the sweet things out there. ‘All of You’, which is my favorite song of his, has a beat reminiscent of early 2000’s R&B. The lyrics remind you of when love songs were actually about love. The classic sound meshes very well with Alan’s voice too.
His song, ‘Distance’, was released previously with a music video and although it’s a breakup song, it’s still a bop. Ladies, if you hear your man playing this song, heed the warning he’s sending. In ‘Distance’, Alan croons about unexpectedly growing apart from his woman. He also raps in this song, and as always, it’s fire.
These are the songs you’ll want to add to your “With My Boo” mix. They’re on the risque side so if you’re underage, how about you wait a bit to listen? Us grown-ups can hit play immediately. ‘Touch and Go’, ‘Windows Tinted’, and ‘Color Me Bad’ are sexy AF. Alan shows his manly side with these cuts. ‘Touch and Go’ is an instant repeat. Alan has some of the most enticing vocals and he isn’t shy with them. He will seduce you into a secret rendezvous with his singing, but the rap switch ups will have you clutching your imaginary pearls. The lyrics to these songs are very suggestive, of course, but not derogatory. It’s refreshing to enjoy music with a grown-up meaning without demeaning lyrics. He surely knows how to get you in the mood for loving.
It’s so satisfying to find such a versatile artist that can give you everything you like in one sitting.