Greetings from sunny Dominican Republic, where the sun is hot, the mangos are fresh, the people drive badly and party like bosses. I’ve been here a couple of days now and there are two guys whose music I cannot get out of my mind: Theophilus London and Sonic Relief.
Theophilus London is a little more established at this point of course, with his official debut album, Timez Are Weird These Days, dropping last week. I was listening to the full album with some friends and, although I hate to categorize, we all agreed that London was “the lovechild of Hip-Hop, Funk, a hint of the Kid Cudi voice and… very very nice shoes.” The whole album just makes you feel fresh, so it was hard to pick a tune to share with you all. I finally decided on this RAC mix of London’s “Why Even Try”. Though the lyrics are reminiscent of an ugly heartbreak, the tune is perfect to pick you up on Wednesday morning.
Though based in Brooklyn, Theophilus London was born in Trinidad; when I found this out I immediately thought of another Caribbean-born/City-based producer and musician from Puerto Rico that I met a few weeks ago in New York.
Sonic Relief is Caleb Calloway, Jamrock Dillon and Martin “Phoenix Charles”. They are preparing to release their first EP, The Usual Relief, by the end of the Summer. I sat with Caleb and Martin last week at the SAE Institute Studios on Midtown to hear what they were working on. Their style and thematics remind me of London’s work: lyrics inspired by some good ol’ heartbreak, and well-mixed beats with bad boy flare. Right now, the only track available is called “Blacked Out.” Dyme-A-Duzin, Caleb, and Su Bviley manage to create a scene in this song where each rapper is a different character in a party scene: ‘The Drunk, The Superstar, and The Creep’. I’m also sharing with you all a preview of Sonic Relief’s “Yourself,” a track they where working on while I was there. The song centers on a “shroomed-out”, jetsetting girl who, for some reason, won’t escape this guy’s mind.
What is it about the Caribbean/City clash that produces these talented and suave musicians? The heat? The confidence? The grime? The style? The fact that they can dance? Decide for yourself…
Theophilus London – Why Even Try (RAC Mix)
Sonic Relief – Blacked Out (Feat. Dyme-A-Duzing & Su Bviley)
Bonus: Sonic Relief – Yourself (Snippet)
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