Carolina hip-hop collective LO$TBOY$YNDICATE are undeniably a fascinating collective. A four piece whose approach to rapping is heavily inspired by the exuberant, fun-loving sound of late 80’s/90’s groups like De La Soul and The Pharcyde, LO$TBOY$ have crafted a discography undeniably worthy of attention. From the dense, hazy material on Doinks n’ Dumplins to the NYC boom bap-inspired Southern Yankees EP, the group have kept listeners on their toes. On their new three track EP Perpetual, they’ve shaken things up again.
It’s initially a little disconcerting to hear so many wildly different voices rap over the middle eastern-flavoured beat on opener ‘Primordial’, and honestly the song is still a little disconcerting many listens later. That’s not to say that the MC’s here are bad or even average, far from it in fact. Of all of the current members (I was informed the husky voiced $al had departed just before this project’s release), HaZe Beatz has the slickest flow and he rightfully leads the song off. There’s definite chemistry between each and every member, and even though the lyrics can fly by at times (aside from that one bar about ‘pulling up through the basement looking like a Daedric Prince’, that shit was tight), the sheer abrasiveness of the group’s vocal attack here is impressive.
‘Equidistant’ ups the number of rappers on the track to five, but this time it’s more of a slow, calculated approach. These guys are still going crazy, but there’s something more in keeping with a classic posse cut about this one. The beat changes often as various different voices collide with it, there’s something almost melancholy about the piano after the first switch. Jay Future steals the show here, his whirlwind approach suiting the song’s creeping atmosphere extremely well. The various speaking passages and out-takes somewhat disrupt the flow of the song and the appeal of it somewhat trails towards the end as forty seconds of groaned singing close it out but the ambition behind the music is absolutely palpable on this one.
And finally, we have ‘Genesis’. Unlike the previous track, the singing scattered throughout this song is incredible and makes for a wonderful hook. There’s a definite fragility about this song, it’s uplifting lyrics reflecting the name of the track and hopefully promising even greater things from the quartet in the future. While there’s splashes of other rappers sounds here (Flatbush Zombies, Freddie Gibbs and the odd trace of Eminem) the group’s sound is definitely unique and I firmly believe they’ve created their best material to date with this EP. Get to know these guys before they become the next big thing in the world of alternative hip-hop.
Stream the EP in full right here.