New cut from Brooklyn rapper Astro (or The Astronomical Kid), of X Factor fame. Remember that kid on the show who smack talked Simon Cowell before launching into, “Stop Looking At My Mom?” Well, after melting the hearts of mothers everywhere, Hollywood came calling. Astro rocketed into the big and small screens, co-starring in Person of Interest, Earth to Echo, A Walk Among the Tombstones, and Red Band Society. Still determined to make his mark on music, Astro also released multiple mixtapes and EPs, the latest entitled, Computer Era. As of December 2, he dropped his lead single “Champion” from Computer Era, and let’s just say it sounds some old school Brooklyn sh*t.
Over a mid-tempo 90’s vibe soul beat, we got an 18-year-old Astro boxing in the ring. He comes with some fresh lines, “I was just a youngin’ in the streets / flow so sharp I couldn’t be touched by a priest,” and some fresher vernacular, “Champion tryna bang yamps in the Hamptons.” The braggadocio is definitely in place (but we knew that from X Factor). Astro says he’s on “some don sh*t.” Um… while he’s definitely not a don yet, Astro’s making the moves of a future don. He raps with the cockiness of a Jay Z while giving the laidback, friendly vibe of a Will Smith. Still, with that Brooklyn brim pulled low, the Astronomical Kid sounds like he drank deeply from hip-hop’s New York City roots. He brings the godfathers with him.
Musically, “Champion” is a head nodder for the backseat. It could also swap as an alternative credits song for Rocky. Sporting a strong drum snap and a throwback synth piano, “Champion” gives us that golden oldies feel, which is probably what Astro wanted. Singer Spade’s hook is rather bland, but it goes along with the old-school flow.
All in all, it is refreshing to see a kid rapper so grounded in hip-hop’s roots. His self-assuredness at such a young age is enviable… and inspirational. “We really finna make a milli in the next year,” he raps. So, while your kid is trying to pass their high school SAT’s, this kid’s got his eyes on the Forbes list. Not bad. They don’t call him Astro for nothing. This kid is a serious lyricist. A serious MC. (Check out more of his lyrics here). We’ll see what else Computer Era brings to the don’s table.