In the age of social media amidst a global music landscape, we have been influenced by artists from regions we have never stepped foot in. From ASAP Rocky, J.Cole, to French Montana- an emcee’s sound is no longer limited to the block they grew up on or the city they come from. Yet in spite of the huge success from these types of artists, biases in hip hop are still alive and well. But like all biases, artists who are talented enough to blur the lines from a creative standpoint will always prove those prejudgments wrong.
Growing up in St. Helena Island, SC and now living in Jersey City, artist L X Los breaks apart all the preconceived notions of what a southern artist should “sound like”. With a vicious east coast delivery and imperative southern depth, Los allows himself to touch on a range of topics at any given time, with content and context packed neatly together. Sharing a vocal tone similar to the big homie Dave East, Los states his biggest influence thus far has been his brother 2chi Fripp who has pushed him continuously since day one.
The track I would like to highlight today entitled “My First Kicks” is off of Los’ most recent project “Free Fall”. This track has a lyrical introspect crafted around the first time he slipped a pair of J’s on, and for anyone whose kick game is worth a damn, that feeling is as unique as it gets. He opens up the track with“When I was 7 Jordan 7’s was my first kicks, Me and 2chi been little Niggaz taking fresh pics”. As I broke open a Dutch, crushed up some gorilla and turned up the volume so loud that my neighbors will probably be complaining tomorrow- I couldn’t help but to be taken back to that day my Aunt took me to Journal Square to get my first pair of 12’s. That’s what a great Emcee is suppose to do; paint a picture of their life so vivid that you’re able to use it as a soundtrack for memories that are uniquely yours.
CUTS’ Visual Director TRUE, photographer Joaquin Moncada, and I met up with Los and Jersey City sneaker connect (@Rackedupman_) for this exclusive photoshoot inspired by Los’ music. The Jersey City summer heat was in full effect but never the less the photoshoot was a complete success and captured the great vibes of the day. Look out for more on the way from L X LOS, and go stream his entire “Free Fall” project through the SoundCloud link below. And as always, ‘Be cool or be careful’.