Ausar – ‘I Now Know.’

Fighting fears with ferocity is what Ausar sets out to do on I Now Know. — his stunningly refined debut album that boasts features from some of music’s most underrated pens: Dende, Chris Patrick and Deante’ Hitchcock among others. However, it’s the Chicago native who outshines any of the aforementioned stars — proving that his flows are golden (much like the album’s cover art). In other words, Ausar is the star of the show.

For the unfamiliar, “DONT DATE RAPPERS” was THE moment for the 26-year-old emcee this past April. The stigmas people generally have towards entertainers — and the women that chase them — are highlighted on the head-bobbing hit. It was more than enough to introduce Ausar’s true colors as a sonic painter — brushing a poetic portrait that bears his innermost self, which is especially evident on I Now Know.

At the intersection of R&B and rap lies Ausar’s affinity for personality, tied together by anecdotal anthems that bleed over the course of the LP’s 14 tracks. It was almost too fitting that he performed in front of his home crowd at Summer Smash in June, where he was restless to share a few then-unreleased album jams. The crowd was more than welcoming and overall enthused with his performance at Seat Geek Stadium; a glimpse of the grandiose sounds that gleam all over I Now Know.

 “poster CHILD” is my personal favorite, where Ausar speaks on setbacks, striving to be enough and his initial love for music through a memory in the seventh grade; meeting Taylor Bennett and being inspired by 10 Day and Bennett’s brother, Chance The Rapper. “So if he could do it, why can’t I?”, he smoothly trails off before the heavenly vocals of CXR’s Dende transition into Ausar’s golden ticket (or so he thought): An audition with Rhythm + Flow. Sporadic phone calls from family and friends act as a break in the action, but further immerse you into differing headspaces he’s held over his life. His narrative poise is one-of-one — much like his talent. “I want to be the greatest, for the longest I couldn’t say it,” he says in the opening lines of “Win,” and he’ll surely achieve it if he keeps on.

I’m not a fan of comparisons, especially when it comes to art, but Ausar has all the makings of being the J. Cole of this generation — going to head-to-head with other lyrical savants in Chris Patrick (“Trophies”) and “Deante’ Hitchcock (“List”). Outlandish as it may read, it’s tracks like “Training Wheels” that remind of 2014 Forest Hills Drive Cole; the presence, the pen, the hunger, the honesty, it’s all natural for Ausar. “I ain’t missed a bump in the road,” he smoothly tears off on “Missed a Stop,” “let me appreciate the lows for what they are.” Between luscious and layered vocals is Ausar’s ability to saunter in between each beat’s perfectly-crafted instrumentation; It’s so soothing it hurts.

Unlike other records that dropped over the weekend (*cough* UTOPIA *cough*), Ausar’s first official effort beams with character and uses his life’s narrative as a guide for listeners to latch on to. A debut album is a tall feat in itself, but I Now Know is a sentient work of art that goes beyond breathtaking.

If you didn’t know Ausar then, you’ll certainly know now.

Album favorites:

  1. poster CHILD
  2. Win
  3. Trophies
  4. Spoiled
  5. List

Listen to ‘I Now Know.’ below!