Artist Spotlight: blackbear

By Caroline Meister

If you’ve seen blackbear anywhere, it’s probably on Twitter. The musician is almost famous for his relatable depressing tweets about, what else? Love. But the once-punk rocker turned rapper should also be famous for his songs.

His new release, digital druglord, is an intricate compilation of love songs, screw you songs, and some songs that you can just groove to. I listened to the album about a week ago for the first time and haven’t stopped yet. A new generation of rappers have been born, ones that aren’t as hardcore and whose songs are more rooted in pop and R&B than anything. Take the sudden popularity of Hoodie Allen, G-Eazy, and Gnash. blackbear will soon be joining the ranks, if he’s not already there. He’s also going on tour with Fall Out Boy, who are notorious for mixing genres (they have also had Hoodie Allen on tour with them). That’s sure to be a home run for the 26-year-old.

But blackbear, also known as Matthew Musto, actually has been a major player in the music industry since way before he was known as blackbear. He’s penned such hits as “Boyfriend,” the number one hit by none other than Justin Bieber, and “Champagne and Pools,” the hit off Hoodie Allen’s latest release, Happy Camper. Besides songwriting, Musto has also traveled among the ranks of many garage bands, included signed band Polaroid.

To top it all off, Musto even has a side project already. Typically side projects don’t occur until much further in one’s career, but that’s not stopping him. In 2017, blackbear joined with Mike Posner to form the pop duo Manisonz and release a full length album. Talk about work ethic, seeing as digital druglord also was released in 2017. This is not to mention the fact that blackbear already has six full length albums and eps, most of which were released only a year apart. That’s incredible. Take notes, up-and-coming artists.

With all this experience, it’s a little surprising that blackbear hasn’t garnered more radio attention, especially with the summer season. I’d like to see less of The Chainsmokers and more of blackbear. My must listen tracks by blackbear are (in no particular order): “juicy sweatsuits,” “wish u the best,” and “idfc.”