Every now and then a track comes by which doesn’t simply raise the expectations for all later music; it becomes the mold to judge them on. “Henny (Half Full)” performed by Michael DeAngelo and produced by Ray Rahiem, has intelligent vocals, a catchy hook, a strong beat and an almost magical flow. And then it has something else; a strange emotional characteristic that is so rare in music these days. It’s a magical quality that allows it relate to everyone in an individual and personal way. Michael DeAngelo’s rhymes are closer to poetry than rap, and he pulls it off while still keeping it real to his roots.
In a weird way “Henny (Half Full)” can make you feel sad, and still feel better. It is one of the few tracks left that seems to have been made with a much greater intention than just to make money; there is a very large and emotional piece of Michael DeAngelo placed inside every copy of the track. You just need to go out and get it. Even compared to his already excellent track “Coke”, Michael DeAngelo’s sprawling “Henny (Half Full)” is a stroke of brilliance. The chilled-out groove of this track will throw some fans for a loop, making it clear that its “Coke” was no detour, but a stepping stone for even greater ambitions.
The music draws from a vastly eclectic palette of sources, and the instrumentation is minimal and sparse. Most importantly, producer Ray Rahiem imbued the track with a earthiness and simultaneous spirituality that comes across regardless of what Michael DeAngelo is rapping about. DeAngelo’s perspective is grounded yet inventive, intentionally seeking hardcore clichés to carve out the Henny ‘story’. His distinctive vocal deliveries are fully mature, with a recognizably rhythmic bounce but loads more technique than his territorial peers. “Henny (Half Full)” fulfills all its ambitions, covering more than enough territory to qualify it as a 5-star listen. It sounds so unconstrained, like if music was therapy for Michael DeAngelo.
MORE ABOUT: Michael DeAngelo was born in Portsmouth, VA in the early 90’s. From a young age he took an interest in music, especially Hip-Hop. Upon moving to California his bond with the art form grew even stronger. By his senior year he had started doing freestyle battles around school winning all of them. From there his notoriety was known across the school and the city. After releasing his first mixtape “Kid With the Flow” he began making music with his little brother and cousin to form an artist collective know as Cold Gang. Michael DeAngelo has opened up for several Bay Area artists such as Erk Tha Jerk and D-Lo to name a few.