Tivon Branch also known as “Von” to the entertainment industry, was born to a family with a rich musical background. Since he was 8 years old, Von has been influenced by hip hop. In 2005 Von started to work with various producers and artists, like Boonie Mayfield of Denver and Dr. Roqs of Indianapolis, while he perfected his craft.
During the summer of 2011, Von, who has also featured on Chicago’s 88,9FM Fusion Radio, gave the world a taste of his craft, with the original mixtape “Worth N Weight”. At the end of 2012, Von released his full independent album “Smoke & Mirrors” which includes the single, “No More No Less” produced by RaCharm.
There’s some albums you just vibe to right away, and then there’s some you start liking after a few listens. “Smoke & Mirrors” definitely is part of the former. Upon your first listen you’ll be bobbing your head to the beats with a smile on your face.
There is a major amount of rap currently being plagued by run-of-the-mill emcees, who care more about their chain and street cred, than the lyrics they let flow. This isn’t the case here as Von takes a lot of different thoughts and feelings of himself and the world that surrounds him, blending everything into the center of his life and blasting it out in stereo for us to hear.
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Von mixes in a lot of styles, patterns and beats as he has the definite hip hop flavor along with some soulful down-tempo, funky and acid-jazz orientated spiciness, to fill the spaces. He adds in tremendous wordplay and creativity with a mellow hip hop flow, that is all his own. This allows him to shine on every track over a high quality production. Making it clear that this guy has a very bright future ahead of him, with something different and very important to offer to the genre.
The difference between Von and the remainder of the new generation of hip hop artists, is the fact that his lyrical style and mind frame gives him the ability to go further than the rest. Von delivers not only intelligent and challenging lyrics, but also a beat production that is top notch. Yet, even though top class, his productions never outshines his lyrics and flow in any way, but it only showcases them better.
The standout tracks on his album are almost too many to mention, considering there are 17 smoking tracks stuffed into this one. If we just go by my personal, all-out favorites, then songs like; “Me, Myself & I,” “Reloaded feat Dstatic & Polo,” “Take’em To Church,” “Nite Light feat Hell-Boi,” “Top Of The World,” “The Grind feat Hell-Boi” and “Flesh Of My Flesh” need a special mention.
Overall, Von has immense potential. His production is refreshing, especially considering the Rap music we hear now-a-days, while his lyrics are very original and insightful. This kid is hot and he doesn’t deliver your ordinary trash talking music. So if you want your Hiphop new and refreshing, pickup your copy of “Smoke & Mirrors.” You will not be disappointed. Highly Recommended.
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