New Artist on the scene: Ant Clemons

New Jersey native Anthony “Ant” Clemons released his debut album Happy 2 Be Here this past Friday and while it might be his debut album Ant Clemons is anything but a stranger to the music scene. Anthony Clemons or “Ant Clemons” his chosen artist name, started making music in 2009 to deal with his parents’ divorce. He notes that going through the experience (divorce) helped him realize his passion for music. Ant Clemons has worked with a variety of music artists including Kanye West, Kid Cudi G-Eazy, Kali Uchis and Jeremih as either a featured artist or as a songwriter/producer. On Kanye West’s 2018 album “Ye’, Ant Clemons has uncredited vocals on the song “All Mine” which went on to be one of the more popular songs on that album. Furthermore, in Kanye Wests’ 2019 album “JESUS IS KING” Ant Clemons has credited vocals on two songs including one with Ty Dolla $ign.

A majority of the artists that Clemons works with are either connected heavily with the R&B  genre or are creating an R&B inspired album, so It only makes sense that Happy 2 Be Here is an R&B album itself. The album features guest appearances from Timbaland, Ty Dolla $ign and Pharrell Williams. The “album” is a total of eight songs for a total of 21 minutes, which honestly seems more like a short length EP to me. But from the eight tracks of Happy 2 Be Here there is some great songs here. The two best songs on the album are Excited featuring Ty Dolla $ign and Aladdin featuring Pharrell Williams. Excited is Ant Clemons’s third-ever collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign. The song sounds like a love poem with a slick up-tempo bass beat that flows beautifully with the vocals of Ant Clemons and Ty Dolla $ign. Aladdin is Ant Clemons’s first-ever collab with Pharrell Williams and hands down my most favorite song on the entire album. The beat here sounds like it’s going to give wat to a heavy rap song when all of a sudden it gives way to this glitzy seeming cascade of even louder and pronounced up-tempo bass beat. The contrast that Ant Clemons and Pharrell Williams vocals on this track is nothing short of mesmerizing, I found myself listening to this same track at least a dozen times in a row.

However, while these two songs are amazing it cannot be helped but to be felt like this album is overall lacking in substance. The Timbaland featuring “4 Letter Word” feels out of place and the song “Beep” which was released more than a year ago and simply feels like recycled material put on a debut album and makes it feel like the artist ran out of material.

Maybe there is a good reason why the two best songs on the debut album (in my opinion) are both songs with features. Maybe there is also a good reason why Ant Clemons is known as “that guy on those Kanye West songs”. Some people are better suited for the future role than the main artist role. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best, I give Happy 2 Be Here a 2.5.