If you’re a 90s baby like me, then Petey Pablo’s “Raise Up” is probably stitched into your southern rap vocabulary. If you’re also like me, then you probably first heard the song over mall radio at a Reebok store or at a college hangout in the middle of nowhere. And finally, if you’re really like me, you lost control as those electric strings glided over that succulent southern trap beat, tore your sweatshirt off from around your waist once the hook blared, and twisted it like a helicopter.
Sadly, after a stint in jail and a long hiatus from music, the world didn’t hear much from Petey or his camp. Then, he miraculously re-emerged in 2018 with the follow-up to his 2011 record Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry, winning fans over again with his string-plucked rap on Still Writing in My Diary: 2nd Entry. Even with Petey’s return, there lacks a void in mainstream music that has only since been filled by J. Cole, iterating to the media the idea that regional adulation is a thing, not just an invention by artists running around with Migos or Kanye imposter syndrome.
What about the indie scene? When do these cultures get to raise up again in music?
The movement starts, but surely won’t end, with Tre Mars, an award-winning marauder of the rap/R&B game (He won a Carolina Music Award in 2017 with the group 9192) who sounds nothing like Kanye or Migos. He’s taking the genre to a new level with his psychedelic twist on traditional 90 smooth jazz, “Magnetic Lust” a track featured on his solo album NOW or NEVER. The video is shot like a homemade psychedelic film and a man with Snoop Dogg sex appeal is the starring actor. “Magnetic Lust” has us bopping along just as we did with “Raise Up,” but as today’s popular R&B singers move in a more free-vibing, “love the planet” direction, the experience is made mostly from a higher perspective, something a little more disciplined than you’d expect from a southern trap party track. We tip our hats to Tre Mars and the gang for pushing the envelope. Watch “Magnetic Lust” below: