If you’ve had any doubts or worries about humanity’s current standing, rest assured. 2018 is officially the year that we’ve sent a rapper to space.
Towkio, real name Preston Oshita, is an affiliate of Chance the Rapper and was prominently featured alongside Justin Bieber on Chance’s song, “Juke Jam.” Besides this collaboration, the Mexican-Japanese rapper has released various mixtapes and EPs which have tended to coincide with near-death experiences. He’s been dangled out of a car window by his legs and has narrowly avoided an earthquake in Mexico.
On Wednesday, February 21st, Towkio reached new heights (literally) as he dropped his debut studio album (also literally) called WWW. from 92,000 feet in the air. Towkio was carried into the sky by an enormous helium balloon, which is the only way to enter the atmosphere without the use of thrusters. The balloon lifted him while he sat inside a capsule, and a copy of WWW. went along for the ride. After the balloon ascended to its maximum point it popped and sent Towkio parachuting back down to earth. A recap of Towkio’s journey can be seen on his Youtube channel.
After the experience, Towkio told Noisey that he definitely thought he was going to die and was praying throughout the entire trip.
He went on to say that when he reached peak altitude, “It made me cry, it was beautiful. It was the exact thing I’d been working for. The exact frequency I was talking about when I thought of my album.”
Towkio has said that the album WWW. was inspired by the “overview effect,” a concept that is reported by astronauts as they view Earth from space and experience an awareness of the utter smallness of humanity and its problems.
At only 24 years old, Towkio has pushed his limits and experienced something that few others will in their lifetime. Now the question stands, was this flight into space an embodiment of the high-concept “overview effect?” Or was it an insanely over-the-top publicity stunt that Towkio will have to upstage when he releases his second album? Critics, fans and other listeners of WWW. will have to give their judgments.
For us… we plan on listening to the album with our feet on the ground, mainly because we’re not sure we can fit a space expedition into our schedules this week.
If you’re interested in learning more about Towkio and his latest release, tune in to The Tonight Show Featuring Jimmy Fallon TONIGHT!