Rising Maryland artist Inkay2x’s musical style draws inspiration from diverse artists, including The Weeknd, Tyler the Creator, and iconic legends such as Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. What sets him apart is his unique fusion of bright pop melodies and clever, witty flexes, creating a genre-blurring experience he affectionately calls pop-rap. His new EP, 23 Minutes Til Showtime, is a charmingly rebellious brew of genre-bending production and magnetic songwriting.
The EP’s lead single, “Chosen One,” produced by Brenden Ross, cleverly pays homage to the iconic Michael Jordan Gatorade commercial “Be Like Mike.” It displays Inkay2x’s ability to infuse nostalgia into his music while keeping it undeniably contemporary and setting the tone for what listeners can expect throughout the project. Each track on 23 Minutes Til Showtime is meticulously crafted to highlight Inkay2x’s strengths while delivering a dynamic sound that keeps listeners thoroughly engaged.
Inkay2x shared his vision for the EP, saying, “I wanted it to be like Kendrick Lamar’s ‘DAMN,’ except shorter with less to unpack. The goal of this EP was to make fun music for people to vibe, pregame, dance, and drive around to.” One standout track, “Cater 2x U,” showcases Inkay2x’s melodic sound and crooning vocals, adding depth to the project’s sonic palette.
Beyond the music, 23 Minutes Til Showtime delves into themes of confidence and unwavering determination. This EP represents significant personal growth and maturity in Inkay2x’s life. He explained, “I moved into my own house and exited a relationship. This newfound responsibility and solitude gave me a high level of introspection of who I am and how I would like to present myself as an artist.”
Inkay2x has taken the captivating nature of pop music and morphed it into something borderless with 23 Minutes Til Showtime—an undeniably cool intersection of rap and alternative. The EP sees Inkay2x continue to build on the idea of making music that has a whole look, feel, and aesthetic. “This project serves as a stepping stone because although I’ve been doing music for a while, this is my first attempt at a high level. This is truly only the beginning. It gets way better from here on out.”
Listen to 23 Minutes Til Showtime below.