Frontman of Hip Hop Roots SLC, Burnell Washburn has shared stages across America with an impressive list of artists including; Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Krs-One, Pretty Lights, Andre Nickatina, Hieroglyphics, Jurassic 5, Logic and countless others. Washburn’s music has been featured on Fox Sports 2, UFC, and more. Washburn recently dropped his latest single, “Cafe on 1st (Drippin’)” written and performed by Burnell himself and produced by Zar.
Mr. Red Cap who presented “Cafe on 1st” (which is a real coffee shop in Salt Lake City) wrote: “Art has been around since men decided to exist on this planet, any artist would argue without haste that the expression of self is a necessity for life to progress, as is water and air. In a sense it is embedded in the human soul as a manner to which the self may benefit from all feelings, even the negative ones. And it’s come to be very apparent to me that coffee shops completely and utterly embrace the concept.” Continuing: “More so then at any other shop, Cafe On 1st pushes itself to be a stage for the creative in nature, and a home for all who find value in art. Cafe On 1st seems to pride itself in its diversity, whether it be the assortment of brews and dishes or its monthly showcase of artists.”
It is with this in mind that I proceeded to listen to Burnell Washburn’s “Cafe on 1st (Drippin’)”. And I was amazed. Though not an official promo or advertisement for the coffee shop in question – or any other coffee shop for that matter – the song (and even more so when watching the video) captures the ‘soul’ and ‘artistic’ essence usually connected to the core of this particularly mind-stimulating environment.
From the laidback organic groove of the music to the natural flow of Washburn’s verses, everything sounds and appears so spontaneous, spirited and candid, similar to a work of art in constant progress.
Hip-hop artists seem to be afraid to step outside of the box for some reason. This is not the case with Washburn – as he doesn’t have a box to start with. Being motivational and insightful together with a strong work ethic are the only guidelines he tends to adhere to.
Burnell Washburn’s rhyming during the verses is on-pitch and on-point with the perfect emotion and the right timing given to it – poetic meter is something many rappers either ignore or struggle with, throwing in adlibs, superlatives or expletives to match the blank spaces; not Washburn, his carefree flow in “Cafe on 1st (Drippin’)”, is as delightfully satisfying and smooth as cinnamon-topped cream on a cappuccino!