by Itoro Udoko
L’Orange is one of my favorite producers in Nashville. His November 2012 release, The Mad Writer — a frenzied yet mellow collection of dark, jazzy hip-hop — was one of the most memorable records of the year. L’Orange has ridden the acclaim of The Mad Writer for much of 2013. But now it appears he’s back with a whole new set of offerings.
A couple weeks ago, the North Carolina native dropped the visuals for “The Quiet Room,” the second official video from his last album. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of L’Orange’s music videos, but they’re works of art in and of themselves. Shortly after premiering “The Quiet Room,” L'Orange posted a link to his “Femme Fatale” music video, along with a teaser promising a new album announcement. If you’ve never seen the “Femme Fatale” video, do yourself a favor and take a minute-and-a-half intermission from reading this column to watch above. Resume after your mind has been officially blown.
So what’s the new album announcement? The City Under The City, a collaborative record with rapper and Mellow Music Group labelmate Stik Figa. Jump for joy, folks, because some of the most captivating moments in L’Orange’s catalog happen when an MC ever so deftly manages to match his instrumentation in just the right way. This new album has the potential to feature a lot of those moments. Along with Stik Figa, the album will also have yU and Has-Lo, two of the stars of The Mad Writer, along with rising North Carolina darling Rapsody and many more.
Oct. 15 is the big day. But keep an ear to the ground until then. Last week L’Orange also posted a cryptic message that suggests some sort of collaboration with the street-wear survivalist brand LRG.
This is going to be a short installment, guys. Sean Maloney mentioned it on Friday, but allow me to echo his sentiments: This has definitely been a slow week, featuring less material than Miley Cyrus’ most recent outfits.
As a result, I’m gonna use the rest of this column to say happy birthday to legendary soul singer Otis Redding, who would have been 72 today. And what kind of person would I be if I didn’t include a link to Jay Z and Kanye’s “Otis”? Best hip-hop music video of the last three years? Maybe.