Chronique True Genius Requires Insanity
Hip hop needs Theophilus London. Dark, soulful and intense, the emcee's push to fame has been crafted in the ilk of Lupe Fiasco and Kid Cudi, emotional tearjerkers as emcees whose tracks veer toward depths of thought and substance that draw an immediate line in the sand for most hip hop listeners. While London is emotional, what he has developed at this point of his career is a brevity of thought and accessibility to productions that give him the extra boost of being possibly the best evolved of the quirky hip hop lovermen of the present generation. In new I Want You mixtape, London succeeds in being what he is, and fails at what he is not. Pushed as an emcee comfortable over electro and funky dance tracks, those prove his undoing here, as the mix wins when love, sex, and the shadow his emotional intensity casts are present and full, and not weighed down with productions that leave his awesome vocal economy as a bystander at the wayside.
There are four tracks here that deserve album consideration. Foremost, his covers of Tweet's 2002 smash "Oops" as reinvented by Hudson Mohawke removes the estrogen and infuses David Ruffin style testosterone everywhere, the troubled troubadour of Motown a definite case study for the creative future of the performer. Late era Marvin Gaye is much the same, as London's take on 1983's "I Want You" is fantastic as well, the emotional introspection of London's style fitting in well with the bizarre mindset of the post Anna Gordy divorce, cocaine addicted and DC born soul icon. Original "Life of a Lover"recalls an Isley Brothers sound in the sample, and with London's vocals recalling young Mos Def, a combination that has always proven successful in the genre is formed. In final, mixtape closer the remix of The Very Best's "Julia" is excellent, as the afro-centric G-funk works well with the laid back but consistent cadence of London.
The rest of the mixtape is inconsistent at best, as possibly instead of taking popular electro and UK tracks like Ellie Goulding's oft remixed "Starry Eyed" may not have been the best idea, however, possibly taking a look at low-fi, J-Dilla inspired producers like TokiMonsta or Flying Lotus, or any great number of existing tracks by chillwave bands like Toro Y Moi would have best accompanied the very pronounced and phenomenal dark romance where this mixtape excels.
Sometimes we fall in love with those that we don't want, but can't refuse. They hurt us, and we are motivated by the pain. Therein lies the definition of the style and grace of Theophilus London
L'addition : Attention ovni ! Theophilus London qui naviguait jusque là entre les milieux hypes et underground va sûrement voir sa carrière prendre une nouvelle dimension. L'opus "I Want you" est une sorte de grand melting pot des musiques anciennes et actuelles, les sonorités funk, rap, electro, pop, soul se mêlent dans un cocktail enivrant. Au premier abord, ça peut avoir un aspect déconcertant mais on est rapidement envoûté par le talent du bonhomme et des ses compères ( Mister Dâm-Funk produit un morceau).
Au final, à part 2, 3 morceaux qui sont un peu too much, on est là dans le trés haut niveau, un univers artistique à part, pour l'instant mon coup de coeur de 2010.