Good news travels fast on the interweb. This week, the powers that be dropped Theophilus London‘s “This Charming Mixtape” on my desk. I heard his name dropped before by the various crews he rolls with such as, A.L.I.E.N and GFC, but I never had a proper introduction to his music. Hailing from Brooklyn, NY, Theophilus (Yes, that’s his REAL name) is an artist you should be on the look out for.
An XXL Mag writer described Theophilus as, and I quote, “…a nutcase. The electronic sounds, rapid beats, taking 64 bars just to start his verse on “Late Night Operation.” What’s really hood with dude? Law & Order: SVU can base a character off this man’s work.” If marrying the genuine sounds of break beats and throw back new wave grooves that are reminiscent of 80’s pop acts like [bands I can’t think of yet], then someone should call up the local psyche ward and have Theophilus locked up because the mixtape is brilliant.
I can’t tell you what I liked most from this record. Rhyme wise he parleys between a smooth Vegas lounge crooner and sometimes switches it up with a more modernized style akin to a personal favorite of mine, Lupe Fiasco. All of his acrobatic lyricism is set to a backdrop of blips, baltimore base, and straight up dance electro by NY producer Machine Drum. Some of my favorite tracks included, “Computer Love”, “Always Love You”, “Grey x Sage” and “Fatalitiy”. Theophilus is definitely carving a niche for himself, but I started to think about a growing number of artists in hip-hop who are gaining mass awareness/acceptance by borrowing and reinterpreting from various (call them what you will) “hipster”, “indie”, “dance-punk”, “afro-punk”, and even fashion movements. Maybe it’s a sign that we are seeing a real transition in hip-hop develop that’s giving us artists like Hollywood Holt, The Cool Kids, Mickey Factz, Kid Cudi, and even Kanye West. Or maybe it’s just a scratch on the record, and we will all be tuned back to our regularly scheduled programming.
Theophilus London – Computer Love
Download “This Charming Mixtape“
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