Matte Black Soul is the fourth full length project from Newport News emcee Awon. The Virginia rhyme sayer is coming off a successful multi-year run that saw him release two critically acclaimed albums alongside producer Phoniks; 2013's nostalgic ode to street life "Return to the Golden Era" and 2014's "Dephacation" with Virginia emcee Dephlow. With his newest offering, Awon comes from a more personal perspective, this time tackling increasingly complex songwriting concepts over a selection of heavily soul-influenced productions. The album features offerings from a team of producers including the aforementioned Phoniks, who contributes six tracks, alongside HDK, Ak, Rashard, and Awon himself. Songs such as "Escaping Youth", which uses hair loss as a metaphor for aging and "Ying vs Yang", that explores the mind of a stick-up man trading rhymes back and forth with his subconscious, show the maturity of the 34-year-old songwriter. With 13-tracks of smooth soul beats and lyrics covering a wide variety of topics, Awon has created a unique, cohesive project that expands the boundaries of his current catalog as well as hip hop music today.
Matte Black Soul "Chat Noir Version" is the counterpart to the original LP. Produced by the French tandem of Gorilla Glock and Odweeyne Chat Noir offers a more gritty and dark balance to the overall smooth dusty pallet of the original. If the original could be described as sweet, Chat Noir can be described with the sophisticated sour notes of Merlot. Gorilla Glock and Odweeyne find ways to bend the obscurity of each record to unimaginable heights into the depths of Underground Hip Hop's sewer. The knowledge of digging in the crates shines as the duo flips track for track in a frantic battle for supremacy with no lone victor. Chat Noir simply put has unescapable nod factor."