In the past half decade or so, high fashion and hip-hop have begun to mingle. At the highest level, artists like Kanye and, recently, A$AP Rocky turn taste in clothes, designers, and artists into an on record attitude, a way of expressing aspirations and superiority alike. Other rappers, most notably Theophilous London, have simply jumped into the high-fashion fray, dressing with a flair and particular type of image-consciousness not often associated with hip-hop (which almost paradoxically is perhaps the most image-obsessed of all the genres) without letting the boutique creep over the beats.

One look at Thunderbird Gerard and you might assume the occasional suit-sporting emcee is simply cut from the same high quality cloth as Theophilous, perhaps a stylish voice in search of something interesting to say. A listen to his music, however, reveals a rapper with ample ability on the mic and an unusual assortment of things to say. EP standout “London is a Bitch, for example, shows a knack for breathing life into a seemingly tired topic, as it examines the highs and lows of life, both illicit and legitimate, in London. In combining his aesthetic with an ear for attention-grabbing production and charisma, Gerard’s aspirational image becomes more than a posture; it’s the layer of sheen that completes the package and gives him intriguing potential to expand beyond the blogosphere.