On September 1, 2023, rap and hyperpop artist Midwxst released his first studio album titled “E3”. The 20-year-old rapper seamlessly merged hyperpop, rock, and hip-hop, giving audiences his most well-rounded project yet.
Midwxst started making music in 2019 and has since released over eight EPs, one mixtape, and numerous standalone singles. He gained a steady following on SoundCloud, where he exclusively released several EPs. SECRETS, Midwxst’s first EP available on all streaming platforms, introduced him to fans as a prominent hyperpop rapper. In four short years, he has crafted a unique sound that could make him go mainstream.
The project included very unique instrumentation – such as a recurring saxophone part in several tracks – and creative uses of samples. Midwxst’s choices combined to create a maximalist production style that is easy for audiences to listen to, unlike other hyperpop/trap artists who often have overly-maximalist tracks.
Midwxst’s previous projects lived solely in the genres of hyperpop and trap, but “E3” successfully embraced several elements of rock and hip-hop. “lost,” “pretty girls,” and “hate how much” featured grunge-y guitar parts and rock drum beats, in combination with lo-fi synths and Midwxst’s signature auto-tuned vocals.
The album featured noticeably better vocals from Midwxst in comparison to prior projects. Midwxst utilized his actual vocals more than his rapping, as he layered harmonies and pitch shifted many of his melodies so they’re duplicated into octaves. “like nah” had great layering in the hook to create an illusion that Midwxst was fully backed up by singers. Final track “ready for you” also included this octave effect in the chorus to elevate the modern trap beat.
Midwxst’s innovative effects created great depth in the mix and made it seem like he featured other artists on the tracks with him. However, he did not have any featured artists on the album. He took on 34 minutes of music himself and did it well, something that is not common for many rising pop and hyperpop artists. “E3” was Midwxst’s first extended project without other artists on the tracks.
Midwxst constantly writes lyrics that relate to large audiences; songs about love, the past, or friendships in general. “E3” dives into romantic relationships as he expresses a whole range of emotions throughout the album: lust, anger, confusion, and regret. While his lyrics aren’t necessarily sophisticated, Midwxst successfully embodied many aspects of a relationship in his lyrics.
When releasing an album, many artists miss the mark on an important aspect: the singles. Midwxst’s choice in singles, “pretty girls” and “warning,” were extremely smart because they were solid tracks, but they still left an element of surprise for the rest of the album. “pretty girls” had a noticeable rock influence, while “warning” was similar to Midwxst’s past work. The singles left fans excited, but they didn’t give away any of the surprising themes and elements within the album.
As “E3” continues to separate Midwxst from other young artists, he also does an exceptional job of producing tracks with creative breakdowns, interludes, and beat switches. Related hyperpop producers have gone down the rabbit hole of exclusively making 90 seconds tracks with extremely predictable formats.
With all of these factors combined, it is apparent that Midwxst is one to look out for. The young artist dropped his best project yet, and he has an even brighter future ahead of him.