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Art thrives on new voices. Music, in particular, tends to take major steps forward when emerging acts arrive on the scene with a fresh perspective. Emerging from Los Angeles is Mann, an 18-year-old rapper wise beyond his years whose fresh, positive, inspiring outlook on life provides his debut album, Mann’s World, with a remarkable vibrancy.
“It’s a young world,” Mann says. “It’s about being young and enjoying life. Right now, our world is so down and so negative because of what’s going on. My world is the opposite of that. My world, everything is on the up and up. I appreciate everything that I have and everything that I’ve gone through to make it to where I am today. The world needs an outlet and the kids need an outlet to be happy. I feel like I can do that with my music.”
Mann’s World lives up to its author’s proclamation. The high-powered collection serves as a coming-of-age soundtrack for today’s generation. Featuring polished, exquisite production from Jonathan “J.R.” Rotem (Rihanna, Sean Kingston, Jason Derulo), Fingaz (Snoop Dogg), and Rob Knox (Justin Timberlake) among others, the album includes an optimistic outlook on life, as well as several examinations of the highs and lows of romantic relationships.
“Every man can relate to that and every girl wants to hear a guy try to get at them,” Mann says. “Every boy growing up is going through it with girls, especially at my age. Every girl wants to know what a guy’s thinking. That’s the best way to get into their ears, by giving them what they want. At this age in my life, it’s something I can relate to.”
Mann showcases his confident, fly side on “MVP” and proclaims his allegiance to girls from his home state on the celebratory “Cali Girls.” Then, on lead single “Text” featuring Jason Derulo, Mann delivers a future smash that encourages his lady to shoot him a private message. The song has a special significance for Mann, who is sure that listeners will gravitate toward the cut. “Nobody really talks on the phone anymore, or they despise talking on the phone,” he says. “A lot of people I know don’t even have the phone feature on their phone anymore. They just text. It’s so much easier, so everybody’s going to feel the song.”
Though much of Mann’s World covers life’s high points, Mann showcases his versatility by crafting the insidiously clever “Cupid.” The song’s aggressive rock vibe matches his goal of killing the god of love. It’s a statement cut, one that highlights Mann’s ability to use his vulnerability as the creative catalyst for memorable music.
Although many rappers are unwilling to put their personal pain, frustration and anger on display, Mann believes that doing so makes him a more genuine artist. “If I’m going to try to hide who I am in my music, then there’s no reason for me to do it,” he says. “I can be the player, but I can also be the person who got played – and that’s every human. Everybody tries to act like they’re only a player and that’s not true. I feel like being vulnerable is a good chance for people to be like, ‘He’s real.’ Right now people want to hear real music and people want to hear what’s real.”