Hip-hop, like any other art form, requires innovation. Unfortunately, hip-hop specifically can have the propensity to be stagnated and stuck on the dominant sound of the culture at the moment. Due to the speed at which changes in hip-hop move, it is even more obvious when artists are riding the wave or coattails of the current trends in the genre. As one half of the duo Pat Ice, Boulder artist and New Orleans native J-Ice is focused on shaking that stagnation and pushing the culture forward. His partner in crime, Play Pat, is a production-focused artist who infuses his trip-hop, blurry vibes into the duo’s interesting style. Their sound is innovative, yet draws back on many of the technical skills cemented by the founders of the genre.
Although the group’s music has the ability to get a party lit, it doesn’t compromise the lyrical skill set that so many emcees hold in high regard. It also doesn’t particularly ride the sound pattern of current club music with heavy trap snare lines or West Coast funk-laden influences. Pat Ice has managed to create their own sound, which is a feat in itself in today’s hip-hop arena. Their smooth sonics, or as J-Ice phrases it, “krispy vibes,” can be found most notably in their tracks “Don’t Get Offended” and “Online.” These melodically upbeat, yet slow tempo tunes make the perfect backdrop for a relaxing drive through the city or a kickback in the living room with your closest amigos.
Pat Ice also has a strong lyrical pedigree, flexing his wordplay on tracks like “Ripple Effect,” so don’t let the group’s laidback vibes give any of you whack rappers any ideas. Overall this Boulder hip-hop duo is definitely worth checking out.
All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.