ICON may be new to our site, but listeners who know how to keep it one-hundred should be able to sense the Booth newcomer’s legitimacy after just a few bars. After all, as the artist reminds us on his latest mixtape leak, Real Recognize Real. Making its world premiere on our front page, this smooth yet street-ready selection is designed to tell you everything you need to know about the Iranian-born, Los Angeles-residing up-and-comer; over The Hipnotiks’ funky sample work, ICON reveals himself as a man of contradictions, describing how his failure to fit into any convenient box left label heads flummoxed: “In high school I was the bookworm who kicked it with the G’s / The honors class thug doin’ mischief in the streets / But within this industry, they say you can’t be this in-between thing, a mystery, ‘cause people aren’t gettin’ it.” Not that he lost any sleep over it—rather than changing to fit their needs, he simply resolved to “do it for the real folk, versus for executives.” ICON’s certainly got the right attitude to succeed in the game, but are you feeling his style? If so, you won’t want to miss the rest of the freshness in store on the artist’s Welcome to Fresh Coast EP, set to drop August 23.
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