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Watchlist: BLACKSTARKIDS “Puppies Forever”

BLACKSTARKIDS is a genre-crossing three piece from Kansas City, Missouri, consisting of The Babe Gabe, TyFaizon, and Deiondre. They released their fourth LP Puppies Forever in October 2021.

One of the most categorically Gen Z bands around, BLACKSTARKIDS is heavily rooted in the synthesis of idealized 90s nostalgia through a modern hip-hop lens. The Puppies Forever tracklist sees the trio throw caution to the wind in both their less-than-nuanced social commentary and bold production style; the resulting impression is one of youthful enthusiasm, frustration, and sentimentality.

The unlikely marriage of a BROCKHAMPTON-esque vocal approach and early 2000s boy band flair, the entire LP feels like 2021 as told by 2004; like Busted, Usher, and Akon released a collaborative quarantine mixtape.

And yet Puppies is anything but a throwback. The closing SOMEDAZE*, one of the most unapologetically BLACKSTARKIDS tracks on the LP, transforms traditional coming-of-age dynamics into something completely cutting edge. Herein lies the true brilliance of the trio – an ability to speak for a generation unburdened by simplicity yet naive enough to over-romanticize the past.

Listen to Puppies Forever below and find @BlackStarKidz on Instagram.

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