To my knowledge, Lyrical Lemonade was one of the first big blog outlets to cover 18Veno – at the very least, we did one of his first interviews, which remains one of my favorite interviews I’ve done to date. I remember finding “1942” for the first time, mesmerized by the level of charisma packed into the song and equally as excited about the otherworldly production behind the release, courtesy of Neeko Baby. As time went on, the promise that Veno showed when I originally came across his music only grew. He developed into an outstanding storyteller, a firecracker of energy on every song he touched, and an artist whose hunger and excitement about music oozed through every song, every verse, and every line. Simply put, it felt like 18Veno wanted it more than anyone else. He was the chosen one out of South Carolina, developed by jetsonmade and the BoyMeetSpace camp into an undeniable voice in his state and beyond.
Tragically, 18Veno’s life was taken in January, just 18 years old and on the verge of a breakout year. When the news came out, an outpouring of support arrived from artists, producers, fans, and friends alike, only cementing the profound impact that Veno left on the world in just 18 years of life. Musically, he was undeniable, and his personality shined through on social media as the kind of person you have to root for, charismatic as can be and filled with energy. Today, honoring this legacy, the BoyMeetSpace camp released a brand new tape from Veno entitled Space Route.
18 songs in length, Space Route is a window into the potential that Veno held, spanning across a wide variety of styles from slow, emotive tracks like the project’s opener – “18 Nights” – to high-octane, anthemic cuts like one of my personal favorites, “Gucci Cologne.” There’s something for everyone on here, and Veno’s storytelling is the sharpest it’s ever been, illustrative as can be and supplied with unrelenting enthusiasm, hunger (listen to “18 Nights,” especially), and charm across the entire tape.
To try and capture the excitement of Space Route is an impossible task, and one that honestly isn’t necessary given the content and energy displayed across the project. Veno left it all on the floor with this one, so I’m going to let the music speak for itself from here, as it should. South Carolina’s own clearly had so much left to say, but the new project couldn’t honor his legacy in a better way. It’s Veno’s best work yet, and an exclamation point for one of rap’s brightest young voices in quite some time.
Long live 18Veno and thank you to the BoyMeetSpace camp for giving this project to the world.
Listen to Space Route below: