Long overlooked as a hip-hop town, Seattle is on the cusp of graduating its newest hip hop star since Macklemore. BINGX is a familiar face throughout his hometown scene, but he’s spent the last year crisscrossing the country to mine collaborations and produce his second project. After honing his dazzling double-time flows and somersaulting lyricism, Bingx—one syllable—addresses the rest of the equation on his second release, My E.G.O.
“With my first project, I was just focused on being a rapper,” he admits. “Three years ago, I’d say I was solely a rapper. Now, I feel like a musician. I record, mix, and produce some of my own tracks.” But the most glaring progression on this project is BINGX’s singing, which he’s nurtured from occasional hook duties to a full-blown arsenal of attack. New fans will encounter an entirely hybrid artist—it’s impossible to pinpoint where the rapping ends and singing begins—and old ones might pick up that his rapid-fire rhyme patterns have carried over to the pitter-patter flows he sings throughout My E.G.O., a self-aware acronym for “Emotional Genius Obliged.”
“I figured out how to sing,” he says, allowing that he’s always had a knack for at least hitting the notes. “Now I needed to figure out how to expand on that and do runs, arpeggios, climbs and falls, crescendos and inflections.”
My E.G.O. brings it all together, and BINGX’s writing benefits from the new tools of delivery. On “It’s A Big Deal” he flexes inspirationally, charging up listeners with a message to seize their moment. Later, on the cheeky, tongue-wagging “Gimme That Nani,” an outlying “disrespectful club song,” Bingx takes a break from the affective love songs like “More Than A Weekend” for some raunch, teasing and swaggering to a boisterous beat along the way.
The track list, which features Jarren Benton, Stevie Stone, and more, is a product of newfound connections and burgeoning collaborations. “I had hit the top of where I could with my current connections,” Bingx says of his hometown grind. “There were so many doorways I could walk through, and I told myself, ‘I’m just going to walk through every single one of them.’” Splitting time between Atlanta and Nashville, Bingx plugged himself in with a fresh cast of producers, pulling credits from the likes of Zaytoven and forming a strong working relationship with the up-and-coming Atlanta beatsmith Mook Beatz, both of whom show up prominently on My E.G.O. It’s a product of networking he attributes to his new label home, AVJ Records. “I wouldn’t be who or where I am without those guys,” he says.
My E.G.O. is also a monument of a larger second wind in the young Seattleites’ life, a series of progressions spearheaded by a major lifestyle change. “I’ve been sober for almost a year,” he says proudly. “No drugs, no alcohol, no nothing. I replaced all the time I had used for bad, negative things and I put it into something that was positive and building. That’s another reason this album is important to me: I produced ‘I Got That Ish’ and I mixed a third of this album.” It’s that deeply personal approach that yields a song like “Missing You,” a streamlined pop-rap track primed for radio and a perfect introduction to Bingx’s romantic charms.
Despite the positivity, BINGX has held onto that chip on his shoulder. On the early single “Numbers Up” he splays out industry woes with manic lyricism, taking to task the labels that passed on him for the wrong reasons. The talent, they promised, was there, he just needed the fans. On My E.G.O. Bingx isn’t cowtailing industry trends, he’s just found out new ways of being himself. The fans will come, Bingx has already arrived.