Releases “Matte Black Soul”

First release on Phonik and Awon’s independent label

Don’t Sleep Records


“Matte Black Soul” is the fourth full length project from Newport News emcee Awon. The Virginia rhyme sayer is coming off a successful multi-year run that saw him release two critically acclaimed albums alongside producer Phoniks; 2013’s nostalgic ode to street life “Return to the Golden Era” and 2014’s “Dephacation” with Virginia emcee Dephlow. With his newest offering, Awon comes from a more personal perspective, this time tackling increasingly complex songwriting concepts over a selection of heavily soul-influenced productions. The album features offerings from a team of producers including the aforementioned Phoniks, who contributes six tracks, alongside HDK, Ak, Rashard, and Awon himself. Songs such as “Escaping Youth”, which uses hair loss as a metaphor for aging and “Ying vs Yang”, that explores the mind of a stick-up man trading rhymes back and forth with his subconscious, show the maturity of the 34-year-old songwriter. With 13-tracks of smooth soul beats and lyrics covering a wide variety of topics, Awon has created a unique, cohesive project that expands the boundaries of his current catalog as well as hip hop music today.

“For me ‘Matte Black Soul’ was initially taking it back to the essence of an emcee rhyming over just loops and breaks. As we sourced samples and made beat changes it evolved into something more personal. I can listen to this record and see a reflection of myself through sound. From the obvious to the obscure, Matte Black Soul reflects what I like to hear, or what I would listen to in my spare time. I’m a soulful dude and I’m at the age where myself and all of my friends are digging in the crates, sipping Henny, sparking that Piff talking about the good ole days. I wanted to make a record that sounded like a shot house at 4 am. Some good food, hard liquor, and soul music.” – Awon

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