It's All About The Music 


Black Canvas




As the person who's job it is to discover new music, it can be, at times, a grueling experience. However, it's the gems that are found deep within the vortex that make it all worthwhile. Derrick Williams, a.k.a. Black Canvas (formally, Williams the Lion) is certainly one of those rare, crystalline discoveries that keep me motivated to continue on with my work.

I first came across Williams while working on my weekly column, "New Tunes Tuesday with Trinity Lost". I had been scouring page-after-page for hours, with almost nothing to show for it. I had a decent amount of Alternative/Folk/Indie bands, I suppose, but I was still not finding whatever it was that I just knew was out there.

       Then, pops up "Skyscrapers & Pyramids". I was already nodding my head within the first 22 seconds of "Crux Anasta (Remixed)", which often is all it takes for me to turn something off, if not half that. I went on, jamming along with my finger-drums on my studio desk with "New Money" and the "The Beem", which once he hit me with the "Ahhhh, Real Monsters" line, I became one of those fish in Red Dead Redemption 2 that just gives up and throws itself at the shore. By the time "King Shit" came on, I was already on the grill, sprinkled in oregano. I even started chuckling at the sheer awesomeness that I was experiencing, saying "Yes! This is what I've been looking for!" 

Since the release of "Skyscrapers & Pyramids", Williams the Lion metamorphosized into Black Canvas with the release of the mixtape's sequal, "Lions, Owls & Octopuses". Bringing back full production from New York Bangerz, the vintage Hip-Hop essense is even more potent than the first. A few of my favorites include "All Black Playlist" featuring Tryggs, "A Villian's Tale", "Son of Mars", and "Awakening". Williams' heavy-hitting lyrics are a soulful reflection of his integrity and passion for the music that flows through him. His natural talent seeps out through every pore and travels directly through the microphone's diaphragm.

      As if those two mixtapes weren't impressive enough, Black Canvas comes back even harder on "Triple Hero".  From the intro to the end, the vibe is consistently strong, while at the same time, gradually increasing the heat  within each song. With "Private Stock" especially, I almost forgot that I was listening to a young man out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and not some lost track found in a Wu-Tang vault. Where the beats become more mellow towards the end of this project, Williams' lyrical skills shine even brighter, creating a perfect balance between the two. My absolute favorite track under "Triple Hero" is "Arcade", which was released separately. (Included below.) This is another one of those "Wu-like" songs that you can't help but crank up the volume and bob your head along with. My only complaint is that it's not long enough for me at 2:33, so I often play it a couple times through before moving on.

      All in all, Black Canvas is now one of my daily playlist favorites, and it's not easy to get on that list for me. Sure, I listen to new music all of the time for my job, but when it comes to what i play during the daily grind, the tracks I am genuinely a fan of, I like certain things. ( I can't even tell you how many times I've listened to the Dem Atlas- "DWNR" album or K-Flay's "West Ghost"). Williams is right up there with the rest of them, in my opinion, and I wish him the best to come. I'll be rooting from over here in Oregon all the while, and I'll be sure to keep this page updated as new things begin to form.



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