Being more of an alternate fan, my reaction and judgment towards other genres of music has always been looked upon as biased and atrocious by my peers. The fact is that I wouldn’t blame them as I have ended up criticizing one artist too many who are generally considered as pioneers of a particular genre. Although in my defense, the commercialization and regularly regurgitated travesties in the name of music hasn’t really helped my power of opinion.

If I have to single out a particular genre to criticize, I would say hip-hop takes the cake. From repetitive beats to vile lyrics, hip-hop music today has very well been reduced to a shadow of what it was in its yesteryears. The fact that rap is now a quintessential part of the hip hop genre just highlights the weak backbone on which the genre is being sustained at the moment. But as they insightfully say, “No dark cloud is without its silver lining”. The silver lining here is the small minority of artists who are working in the background to add the sheen back into the hip hop scene.

One such artist that I have recently stumbled upon through thissongissick is Pretty Lights; the stage name for Derek Vincent Smith.  Having dropped out of college during freshman year in University of Colorado, Smith worked hard to make it to the big time through playing at concerts during 2007 and 2008. In 2009, he gave existence to Pretty Lights and played at some of the major American music festivals. And since the establishment of his record label Pretty Lights music, he has given a lot of fresh new artists to come forth and distribute their music for free. The label tries and plays its part in doing its bit for the society through the donation it generates from the official website.

Now anyone who has heard of him would have surely heard tracks like Finally Moving and I know the Truth with creative syncing of hip hop beats, synth lines and soul samples. And his latest one, “Around the Block” is another excellent track –


The video is nothing out of the world but his whole setup using 21:9 widescreen monitors is nothing short of mouth-watering. And the customary reaction I get from people after listening to Pretty Lights – “Oh how I wish there were more artists like him these days!”