With the small buzz generated recently by lojii’s excellent Lofeye LP, it seems a good time for Portland label Fresh Selects (Mndsgn, Knwledge) to re-release Due Rent, the collaborative record he made with Philly beatsmith Swarvy back in 2016. It’s an LP of quiet anger - lojii’s muffled yet pointed raps come off like Earl Sweatshirt at the nadir of his self-loathing, and the beats sound like early MF Doom tapes played through a car stereo on a really hot day. Good stuff.
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To be absolutely honest, we're desperate. We like to give you an album of the week and this week it's really slim pickings. Luckily Phil (Phil!) pointed me towards this record saying that we'd played it in the office and it was a contender. He couldn't remember what it sounded like, what style of music it was or even hearing it... but at ten past ten on a Thursday the pressure is building.
Luckily it's absolutely great. I spend half an hour trying to think how to sum it up before realising that our description writer Fred G pretty much nailed it as "early MF Doom tapes played through a car stereo on a really hot day". But also it's more than that, it's a brilliant mixtape of inventive sampling topped by a particular downtrodden delivery. These two artists have released albums separately in the past but have put their talents together here and the result is rich and incredibly musical. It's incredibly smooth...often even Warren G smooth but the general vibe is of the cut and splice and concise delivery of Dilla productions. With it's crossfades and sudden lurching stops and starts it's like turning the dial on an FM radio dialling between a multitude of stations playing laid back him hop. With 22 tracks it is 'Donuts' scattered, you like a bit then it's gone into the wind. But the opening title track made me decide the album was for me within it's first three seconds. It's a gorgeous swirl of flutes and soul strings, the vocals are just beneath the surface, the muffled understated delivery in stark contrast to the usual hip-hop bragging.
It's an intelligent, understated hip-hop mix tape perfect for these challenging hot days. Fans of Dilla, Doom, Madlib take note.
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- Due Rent by lojii & Swarvy
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