Stephen Hero shares Patchwork II

Category: music 63

Three years after the release of his first Patchwork EP, Saint John rapper Stephen Hero revisits the title backed by a wealth of new experience and a few guest vocalists.

Matt Carter 

Stephen Hero can be all things at all times. Past, present, and future. An obsessive student of rap music and hip hop culture, he could tell you anything you want to know about the music’s biggest players from the 1990s onward. Everything from what they rapped about, who programmed their beats, and how their music affected the culture. He has that knowledge on lockdown. As an artist, Hero is rooted in the present day. His songs blend personal experience with real world struggles highlighting what it is like to weave over and under the poverty line. It is an experience more and more people are facing with each new year, and one Hero remains focused on with each new release. If music still has the strength to bring about social change, Hero’s voice, his lyrics, and his message may someday prove to be more than just culture rich accompaniment to booms and baps.

With his latest release, Patchwork II, Hero revisits a title that first appeared in his growing discography three years ago. At that point he was just getting started, just figuring out how to produce tracks and honing his message. 

“This one is like a very expanded version of that original concept,” said Hero, takling about his latest release. “This time I made every beat, mixed and mastered the whole thing, and I’ve got some more people from Saint John rapping on it.”

Across the five songs that make up Patchwork II, Hero can again be heard refining his craft and his message of social justice, shared realities, and the need to stay focused on lifting everybody up at once while also taking clever shots at elites and the corporations who proliferate social division.

Backed by verses from MEKA MUTOMBO and MXCHAEL SHABAZZ, Hero’s progression as a writer and producer are on full display.

“On the original Patchwork, I don’t want to say that I wasn’t trying, but I wasn’t pedal to the metal,” he said. “It was just casual. I was just enjoying it. This one I put more effort into making sure the bars are as hard as possible without overthinking it at the same time.” 

Photo by Jerrett Just


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