Rock Floyd doesn’t just operate within the boundaries of hip-hop — he fully submerges himself within its storied histories and the twisting aspirations of his forebears. His work can be dense and muscular, resulting in beats which seem able to quickly batter your senses into submission, but he also can wield a more minimal sound with the precision of a practiced surgeon. Regardless of their volume or weight, these sounds attack your nervous system and overwhelm your physical and emotional defenses. His own voice, equally convincing and menacing, easily roars through whatever verse or chorus stands in his way.
But his work isn’t limited to just showing off his skills as an emcee. He’s recently produced songs for artists such as Bbymutha and Kindora, adding his own inimitable touch to their signature sounds. He has also collaborated with numerous musicians from Chattanooga, TN, the city which he now calls home. Known for exploring the more experimental sides of hip-hop, he also makes use of a curious and compelling deconstruction of modern R&B techniques.
Over the past few years, Rock has released numerous singles, collaborations, EPs and records of various musical perspectives. And with the release of his new album, “The Deep Murky Waters” (due out Sept. 23), he’s once again ready to share with us a glimpse of the rhythms and tones drifting around in his head.
On new single, “Right Now,” he mixes mercurial melodies and a collection of atypical arrangements to highlight the swagger and emotional connectivity inherent to his words. Opening with a warped guitar line and a smattering of harmonized voices, the track quickly establishes its hybrid aesthetic, a mixture of hip-hop braggadocio and melodic soul liquidity. The beat is light on the speakers but not lightweight — it has just the perfect balance of gentle persuasion and fierce emotionality. With production work by Rock and Shoutout2EJ, the song manages to feel like a continuation of his past work while also presenting itself as a refinement of what he’s been experimenting with in recent years.
“I’m on a mission to share my experiences from The Deep Murky Waters,” he explains. And he’s eager to share his deep-water excursions with his fans. And on the strength of “Right Now,” he’s not going to have any problems finding eager company in that dark aqueous environment.