Artist Spotlight is a series that aims to highlight some of the most promising up-and-coming artists in hip-hop/R&B. From newcomers to veterans, mainstream to underground, we want to shine a light on the talented musicians that are making great music, gaining the respect of the industry, and pushing the culture forward.
Chester Watson (real name unknown)
St. Louis, MO
Chester Watson is part of a wave of new-generation rappers whose artistry has been shaped, directly and/or indirectly, by the work of MF DOOM, as he’s drawn comparisons to both DOOM and Earl Sweatshirt, who is another contemporary artist from which Watson draws inspiration.
Born in St. Louis, he spent several years being raised in Florida and Georgia. After abandoning a pursuit of ballet, Watson began focusing on music, recording his first mixtape, Carnie, at the age of 14 (which he has since erased from the internet). From there, his career took off, as he has released over 10 albums as both a rapper and a producer, including his oldest available mixtape, Phantom, his acclaimed 2016 album, Past Cloaks, and his most recent project, Project 0. In 2016 he became the first signee and first artist to release an album on Jeff Weiss’ label POW Recordings.
Why You Should Know Him:
If you enjoy the music of some of MF DOOM’s other children (e.g. Joey Badass, Earl Sweatshirt, Capital STEEZ, and Bishop Nehru), or if you just enjoy vibe-heavy, lofi, incredibly chill indie hip-hop that deals heavily in jazzy psychedelia, then Chester Watson is most certainly for you.
Due to the “alternative” nature of his music, he’ll be underrated by many, but that shouldn’t prevent a diligent hip-hop aficionado from recognizing his unique artistry. He’s carved out a lane for himself over the past several years, and although, at just 21 years old, he is yet to unlock his full potential, it’s very clear that lyrically, technically, and conceptually he has been well ahead of his time.
3 Songs to Get You Started:
“Phantom” is currently Watson’s most watched video on Youtube and one of his earliest of his available official works. From the lofi, jazzy boom-bap beat to the nonchalant flow and complex rhyme schemes, it’s easy to see why his music impressed at such a young age.
Watson’s East Coast sonic inspirations and dense lyricism shine through on “Creed,” one of the standouts from his 2014 mixtape Tin Wooki, as well as one of his most popular songs to date.
“Oblivion, Are You Satisfied?”
“Oblivion” is one of the highlights of his album Project 0, a short collection of music he released this past October as a precursor to the sounds he wants to hone on his upcoming venture, A Japanese Horror Film.