The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Local rapper Koye Davis returns with new album

Amid the usual student load of academics and work, rapper Okoye Davis — better known by his stage name, Koye — has managed to find time to perform and work on his music, as his new album comes out at the end of April.  

For his latest project, “Paper View,” the 22-year-old Columbus, Miss., native said his experiences, including unexpected shifts and curveballs, straightforwardly informed his music and resulted in an album of narratives.

“The inspiration for this album came from the drastic change that occurred in my life at the beginning of this year,” Davis said. “It’s a very honest and blunt album. Each verse has its own story, and I’ve put my heart and soul into the project.” 

Listeners could define Koye’s sound as both refined and aggressive. With his docile melodic productions, which counter his rapid delivery, listeners — both deep music fans and lighthearted listeners — can appreciate the harmony he achieves.  

For “Paper View,” Davis said he wanted to take a production approach that is not commonly used in hip-hop anymore and include samples that draw from genres of music lost in the modern rap world. 

“The genre for this album is a new style of hip-hop,” he said. “There are some songs with live drums, samples from soul and styles of rap that people haven’t heard since Jay-Z in the early millennium.”

The record incorporates multiple genres, Davis said, but also experiments with pacing and stylistic changes. 

 “The feeling of the album switches at the midpoint and is really going to surprise all the listeners,” he said.

One of the album’s hallmarks is that acclaimed producer Chase N Cashe will produce the record. A New Orleans native, Cashe has worked with rap and R&B artists such as Brandy, Drake and Lil Wayne. 

Davis said he was diligent about working with Cashe on “Paper View,” and their relationship began due to Davis’s interest in him.  

“I contacted Chase early in 2013, trying to get him to listen to my music before I had even released my songs,” Koye said. “We talked back and forth for a while, and he was really blunt. He could tell I was young and had a lot of questions.” 

Later that year, Cashe released instrumental tracks that Davis said he jumped at the opportunity to record. 

“I told him what I had planned for the songs, and he asked me to send it back to him when I was finished with it,” Davis said. “He’s a great producer and going to be great for the new wave of artists coming up.” 

Tyler Mason, fellow Columbus, Miss., native and friend of Davis, said he believes Davis’s work could change music.  

“Koye’s music is being innovative. Outside of the music we hear nowadays that’s more popular, we’re going a different direction with his sound,” Mason said. “Everything is falling into place, and with his new EP, you’ll see how versatile he is.” 

With singles like “Heart of Ville” and “Til It’s Over,” Davis has established a growing fan base that stretches from his home to California. With his humble demeanor and Yeezy-esque work ethic, Davis is destined to be on radios nationwide. 

Though Davis continues to pursue his pragmatic life goals, he said he also plans to hold himself to high musical aspirations, hone his craft tirelessly and carve out a niche for himself in the world of rap music. 

“I’m going to pursue music after I graduate in hopes of starting my own music label before I’m 28,” Davis said. “I’m tough on myself, and, hopefully, the kids who look up to me back home will see that hard work truly pays off. I’m not here to live another man’s dream. I’m here to create my own.” 

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Local rapper Koye Davis returns with new album