On paper, ANTHM seems like the bougiest rapper ever. After graduating from Duke, Anteneh Addisu moved to Manhattan and started working on Wall Street as a trader for Citigroup. But then the northern Virginia native made a career swap bold enough to make any college career counselor wince: he ditched the suit and tie, picked up a mic, and turned a lifelong hobby into a career. The cutthroat world of the one percent, the rapper’s bio informs us, instilled in him an unstoppable drive — one that caught the attention of G-Unit producer DJ Whoo Kid, and led to opening stints for hipster-hop favorites like the Cool Kids and Hoodie Allen. Despite his white-collar cred, ANTHM’s sound is surprisingly modest, employing stripped-down, sunny production and wordplay that, while every bit as literate as to be expected from a Duke grad, somehow comes across as effortless and insightful. On his new track “Nina,” named for the famous jazz singer, the New York transplant invokes a decidedly Lupe-esque vibe, examining his unconventional rise to the top with a tone that’s as calm as it is critical.
• ANTHM: http://callmeanthm.com