DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
By Julian Cuebas
Three years. Three times around the sun I have been working with recording artist Ethan Dupree. We share a music collective, NECROLEMUR, we have made a couple EPs together. But never has he released a solo project, until now. My Girlfriend has a Boyfriend (MGFHABF) released a little over a week ago with a lively, literally heart-crushing, animated visual. The young MCs first project is a collection of Demos chronicling the past two years of his life. This Rap-R&B amalgam combines sweet serenades with cynical pessimism that cuts through hope and agony alike.
The question, “So what is the concept of your project?” brings an interested grin to his face as he contemplates the answer. “It was a journey-in-progress. It was moving on from my ex while seeing someone else. It’s like getting over and moving on, but the girl I moved on with got a boyfriend.”
The project is a story of love lost, gained, and a balance that shifts unpredictably. In the opening track ‘whatusee?’ Ethan mixes his initial feelings of the relationship and creates a sense of vulnerability. It’s an incredible opener because it raises a question. The ambiguity creates an air of uncertainty that stays with the listener the rest of the project. We never really know where Ethan stands because he’s unsure of where he stands as well.
After we talked about the project’s concepts, I asked him about his process. The strength in Ethan’s songwriting comes from his narratives. His ability to set scene, character, and theme gives his art a directorial feel. “I use music as an escape and a coping mechanism. I journal my thoughts and process them into music. It creates a catalog that I can go back to and see how I was feeling.” He also smiled and furthered his comment. “It’s also for people who might be going through something similar to me. They can find comfort in the songs I wrote.”
He listed his favorite songs off the project as well (In no particular order): Eden, Wake-up, and Singin boi. ‘Eden’ he wrote about a psychedelic experience with his significant other. Wrapping themselves in one another, feeling whole, feeling empty, it’s an experiential moment for the rapper (A “beautiful confusion” he calls it). ‘Wake up’ is an experience of premonition. He knows his lover will leave soon and it is an emotional offering for their relationship. “It’s appreciative,” says Ethan, “It’s like saying, I know that everything we have is falling apart, but I am glad I had it, and I am glad that we loved each other.” In his track, ‘Singin boi’ Ethan said it was about going back and forth so much with his girlfriend that he eventually said, “fuck this and fuck you,” it’s a sarcastic song mocking their relationship over its lack of attention towards him. It’s a reminder of where he is going versus where he has been.
My Girlfriend Has a Boyfriend is Ethan’s first project. It shows feelings of being cursed. It displays humor in the face of detrimental reality, it is very much a premonition of his projected relationships. And ultimately, he is grateful to have loved more than anything else. My Girlfriend Has a Boyfriend is now streaming exclusively on SoundCloud.
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
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