Project of the week: Lor Choc – Still Worth It
Baltimore’s Lor Choc follows a long lineage of auto-tune blues crooners who sing about persevering through genuine hardship over guitar-laden trap passages. The landscape has become so saturated with this style, it’s hard to even figure out who’s singing and who’s REALLY singing. Choc falls in the latter category thankfully. Each lyric represents a fatigued reality, while every note she hits sounds like a piece of her soul is spilling out on the paper as words etched in bright red blood appear.
The 20-year-old talent has been around for a few years now, releasing a mixtape in 2016 titled Worth the Wait, a project that earned her a feature story in The Fader a couple of years later. On Still Worth It, she continues to detail the ups and downs of her story through vivid detail and eventual hope for the future. It’s the perfect sequel that adds to the collage of her glowing personality. We’ll most definitely see more of it in the coming years. She’s too talented for listeners not to recognize the passion.
Kid Cudi – “Leader of the Delinquents”
Cudi continues to prove how criminally underrated his recent output is (particularly Indicud and Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’) with a song that perfectly encapsulates all of his greatest eccentricities. “Leader of the Delinquents” is another venture into the tangled web of Cudi’s bewildered thoughts. It’s been on the back burner since 2012, which isn’t a surprise considering its vaporous background reminiscent of 2010 Kid Cudi.
The song is drenched in swagger, as Cudder pinballs between his legacy and remedial despair, hoping his iconic rage doesn’t get the best of him-“But sometimes I wanted to shoot my fucking face off/I’m talking game over, defeated the boss/Hope with age, I can cope with my rage.” Dropping the toxic masculine stigma surrounding chronic mental health has been Cudi’s greatest contribution as an artist. He ushered in a decade filled with ostentatious personalities, Soundcloud experimentation, and genre defying acceptance. He’s always happily carry the flag as the ultimate outsider-making music for the lost souls.
Chicken P & Jiggs – “Fuck Trump”
A cynical response to the emptiness of capitalism; a vicious retort to the unrealistic aurora surrounding the “American Dream;” a reminder of how bluntly inadequate our current bigot is. This song has it all thanks to Milwaukee’s great modern duo of the past two years. This is the perfect sequel to YG’s “FDT” back in 2016, especially considering the mishandling of our current situation. Four years later, Trump still can’t get shit right.
ALFii (feat. Stephon Joseph and Billy Dean Thomas) – “Goodnight”
Boston producer/songwriter ALFii successfully captures a moment in time for Massachusetts rap with his new collaborative tape Avalanche. The basis for his vision involves flipping samples from the original Final Fantasy VII soundtrack orchestrated by Nobuo Uetmatsu. It’s an intriguing odyssey into the state’s greatest personalities at the moment, ranging from all different types of tonalities and styles.
One of my favorites from the album is “Goodnight,” the central breather that forces listeners to enjoy the mystical panorama found within any type of video game. Not everyone needs to play the Final Fantasy franchise to paint this picture in their mind. ALLFii does it for you with ephemeral keys and swirling percussion. Joseph and Thomas formlessly harmonize as a nocturnal portrait of love and comfort enters the brain’s neurons.
ALLBLACK – “Chevron 2”
When people ask me what’s the first song I’m going to blast in my car as I’m racing down the freeway en route to a much-needed vacation, I’ll emphatically say this one. ALLBACK offers full adrenaline for a little under two minutes. That’s all he needs to get listeners like me excited for a brighter future.
Most High Kingdom (feat. Milkshaw Benedict, Najee Janey & $ean Wire) – “The Virus”
This is one of the few songs that actually approaches the current pandemic with some nuanced intelligence. They’re making humans accountable for their actions, something a lot of us are too prideful to do. A passionate chant erupts after each rapper gives their perspective thoughts on the situation. Every idea comes to fruition without blatantly saying “coronavirus.” It’s refreshing to see a thoughtful creation come out of this mess. I think we’ve all had enough of the countless meme tracks that have already festered on streaming services.