Adam Traore, aka A-1, might be the next S.F. rapper poised for wider success. The first-generation U.S. citizen, son of parents from West Africa and Italy, A-1 treads a fine line between what would've once been considered conscious rap — giving lip-service to positivity and self-awareness — with party-ready anthems about girls and weed. The Thurl Tape, his release from last fall, mixes zeitgeist-y beats and production with guest spots from Roach Gigz, Little Dragon, and Dregs One. But Traore's agile rhymes and likable, disarming persona keep the spotlight firmly planted on him throughout. Only two releases into a promising career, it says a lot that A-1 is already headlining shows at local mainstays like Slim's.
Watch the promo video for the Slim's show.